BritishTheatre

Published on

October 22, 2015

REVIEW: The Full Monty, Churchill Theatre (On Tour) ✭✭✭✭

By

danielcolemancooke

THE-FULL-MONTY-photo-Matt-Crockett

The Full Monty

Churchill Theatre

19th October

4 Stars

Book Tickets

The Full Monty is one of British cinema’s most surprising ever smash hits. The gritty yet touching story became a box office sensation, beating Titanic to a BAFTA and even picking up an Oscar for its soundtrack.

So it’s no surprise that the production is still touring after a West End run two years ago. The story is a familiar one; amongst the backdrop of stark unemployment and depression, six unemployed Sheffield men all witness the enthusiasm for a touring troupe of Chippendales. They all decide to come together and overcome their pride and personal struggles to form their very own strip act.

Despite the script’s intrinsic humour, The Full Monty still remains an extremely sweet story capable of extraordinary depth. Despite the stoic Northern humour that lies throughout, it draws on some serious and hard-hitting themes, including suicide, depression and gender equality.

The Full Monty on Tour

Martin Miller, Gary Lucy, Louise Emerick, Bobby Schofield, Rupert Hill, and Andrew Dunn in The Full Monty. Photo: Matt Crockett

It is also portrays male insecurities better than most productions, whether it’s Gaz’s inability to provide for his son, Dave’s issues over his weight or Lomper’s confusion over his sexuality. There is also some deft political subtext through the slightly snobbish Gerald, who is hiding his unemployment to keep up appearances. Having said that some of the play’s Conservative jokes died a death, perhaps not a surprise in Bromley, a Tory safe seat!

The script is clearly a winner so then how was the staging? The show has lost none of its impact from being on stage, thanks to Robert Jones’ evocative and versatile set design. This multi-layered structure continuously evolves, from capturing the grease and grime of the steelworks before slowly morphing into a cheap and cheerful working mens’ club.

The scene changes are fluid and the show uses its highly decorated soundtrack sparingly; perhaps deciding that the musical version of the production failed for a reason!

The Full Monty on Tour

Rupert Hill and Bobby Schofield in The Full Monty. Photo: Matt Crockett

The show is very well acted, with a particularly good turn from Martin Miller as Dave, combining biting wit with a sensitive portrayal of a man struggling with his self-confidence. Andrew Dunn is also convincing as Gerald, a Tory falling on tough times; the scene where his wife confronts him about his portrayal is particularly sad. Credit should also go to Bobby Schofield as Lomper, an eccentric former steel worker struggling with his homosexuality; Schofield offers a wonderfully oddball portrayal of a very unusual young man.

Gary Lucy is a curious casting choice as Gaz; in the film he is a reasonably rugged and unpolished character, whereas the former teen heartthrob Lucy looks like he could have walked into the Chippendales. His accent also isn’t quite the full monty, getting lost somewhere around the Pennines. However, there is a likeable charm to him and his chemistry between Gaz and his son Nathan (Brook Exley) is very sweet.

The Full Monty is a masterclass of British writing and its energy and sensitivity transfers smoothly to the stage. It’s raucous and crude but also a lot of fun – if it’s touring in your area then it’s well worth a visit.

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FULL MONTY ON TOUR HERE

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The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..

ABOUT BRITISHTHEATRE

BritishTheatre.com
Opening Night Media Ltd
3rd Floor, 80 St. Martin’s Lane
Covent Garden
London WC2N 4AA

The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..