THEATRE – THE FULL MONTY – Stirling Theatre – 4K

HMC Promo - The Full Monty 11By Peter Maddern

Based on the 1997 movie but geographically shifted from Scotland to Buffalo, New York (to appease American ‘cultural’ tastes) The Full Monty tells the tale of men out of work from the local factory with little or no prospects of ever getting similar paying gigs in the area maybe, given some of their ages, anywhere.

The story draws on the various plight of these guys – one fearing loss of joint custody of a child, another covering-up the true state of affairs from a spouse dreading the fall out and hoping that something, anything, will arise to avoid the humiliation. When the male stripping act, The Chippendales, comes through town, much to the delight of the local ladies, an idea is hatched to emulate them, middle aged paunches and all, to recoup the money they each need to get things back on an even keel at home.

Rohan Watts as Jerry Lukowski leads the charge along with his long time mate Dave Bukatinsky (Kim Clark.) In time they are joined at rehearsals by former plant manager Harold (Njal Venning), the deeply depressed Malcolm (James Reed), the youthful and goofy Ethan (Timothy Mackie) and finally Noah “The Horse” Simmons (MacDonald Machingura). Along the way various key women in their lives confuse and hinder their intentions (some more consciously than others) and Jerry’s son Nathan (delightfully played by Noah Lane) is at the end of the heart strings that pull the whole play together.

HMC Promo - The Full Monty 09David Yazbek’s music and lyrics are excellent and thankfully return musicals to three verse songs amidst a credible story (in contrast to say a CATS and similar fares of the past 30 years or so) and director Max Rayner keeps the production rolling along from the opening raucus indulgence around the blow-in stud muffins (with Alex Dunbar doing well) to the final blinding lights when the boys go the full monty itself.

Watts’s experiences on Adelaide ‘s burlesque stages hold him in good stead for his role as the pacemaker Jerry while James Reed’s singing is probably the best of the bunch; a talent under utilised in this role (with a similar thought also crossing this reviewer’s mind for Tim Mackie.) Of the ladies, who suffer from mostly unflattering roles, Samantha Francis as Vicki Nichols stole the show in her limited moments in the sun.

Overall, The Full Monty proves a delight for women who relish seeing men make wholesome buffoons of themselves. The humour is sharp, the stories poignant and Heather Elliott’s musical direction rounds off a rollicking evening’s entertainment.

Kryztoff Rating  4K

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