I have never seen the film The Full Monty (well, apart from the first 10 minutes we watched in class) but I knew the basic plot, I had heard the stories, I could guess what would happen from the title, but I was going in with no expectations.
Well, except from the fact my family thought we were going to see the musical of The Full Monty.
It was, in fact, not the musical version. I realised this at the intermission when there had not been a single burst of musical performance. It was then that my mother had to explain to myself and my cousin (who also was also a Full Monty virgin) it was not what we had initially thought. The show that we were seeing was basically the movie rewritten for the stage. I wasn’t complaining, though. It was still a fantastic night.
Every actor involved blew me away. The majority of their credits are from TV or film so to be equally as good on stage is impressive. Some actors can’t do both, but these guys could. Especially Kai Owen who played Dave. He stole the show for me.
However, I would have loved it if the actors connected with the audience more. I know The Full Monty is not a pantomime, but the woman sitting on the far left of me obviously thought it was. Maybe she had one too many from the bar before the curtains rose, or maybe she was unaware how loud her remarks were, but the one liners she announced to the room completely made the show what it was for me. Her commentary was hilarious and it would have made my night if one of the actors reacted to it. I understand that this may not suit the kind of production that The Fully Monty is, but if your tour dares to venture to Glasgow – you better be prepared for those Glasgow women.
Especially those that have had a drink.
The stage design was beautiful thanks to Robert Jones. It never changed throughout the entirety of the show but it didn’t matter. The actors would casually rearrange the boxes and scrapyard junk while on stage in order to set up the next scene which was determined by lighting changes (thanks to Tim Lutkin). These subtle changes were so simple yet worked extremely well.
The aspect of the show that really touched my heart was the reaction from the audience. It didn’t matter if the man was “too thin”, “too fat” or “too old” – the woman (and some gents) surrounding me cheered them on all the same. In a society where men believe they have to have the same amount of muscle mass as Thor, have cheekbones chiselled like Tom Hiddleston and be tall and pouting like so many models on magazine covers, it was unbelievably refreshing to know that so many women don’t feel the same. It felt like a statement was being screamed from all around me: “you are beautiful to someone.”
Also: “Get your willy out!”
So, if you like the film of The Fully Monty, you will love the stage show. The atmosphere in the theatre is electric and, like my cousin said, you won’t laugh like that again for a while.
And to anyone wondering, yes they did go the full monty. I saw a little too much of some performers and not quite enough of Gary Lucy.