Award-winning American actor Jarrod Emick will lead a cast of Broadway originals in the London stage premiere of the musical The Full Monty, which opens at the West End's Prince of Wales Theatre on 12 March 2002, following previews from 27 February.

Emick, who plays Jerry Lukowski in the tale about a group of men who resort to stripping to pay the rent, has previously been seen on Broadway in Miss Saigon, The Rocky Horror Show and Damn Yankees, for which he won a 1994 Tony Award. Jason Denieley (as Malcolm MacGregor), Andre De Shields (Noah 'Horse' T Simmons), John Ellison Conlee (Dave Bukatinsky), Romain Fruge (Ethan Girard) and Marcus Neville (Harold Nichols) will recreate the roles their originated on Broadway.

The London production will also star British comic character veteran Dora Bryan, as Jeannette Burmeister. Bryan has had a long UK film career, which has embraced comedy classics such as A Taste of Honey, Carry On Sergeant, The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery and The Cockleshell Heroes. The actress' recent UK stage credits include Peter Pan, The Importance of Being Earnest, Blithe Spirits and Talking Heads.

Also in the London cast of The Full Monty are Andrew Brooke, Tricia Deighton, Jacqui Dubois, Julian Essex Spurrier, Samuel James, Steven Judkins, Sion Lloyd, Andy Mace, Gina Murray, Kate Pinell, Donna Steele and Rebecca Thornhill.

Peter Cattaneo's 1997 film The Full Monty - which starred Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson and Hugo Speer - became one of Britain's biggest ever hits, garnering six Oscar nominations in addition to international acclaim. The stage musical is the creation of American bookwriter Terrence McNally and first-time theatrical composer David Yazbek. They have made substantial changes in the adaptation to the new medium, including the addition of several characters, new dance numbers, new songs of course and, most controversially (at least for British domestic audiences), the transatlantic move of the locale. While the film original was set in Sheffield, England, the stage action occurs in the American city of Buffalo, New York.

The stage Full Monty premiered - to enthusiastic reviews and box office records - in San Diego, California, before opening at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre in October 2000.

The West End production will be staged by the entire Broadway creative team, headed by director Jack O'Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell. It is designed by John Arnone, with costumes by Bob Morgan, lighting by Howell Binkley and sound by Mike Walker. Orchestrations are by Harold Wheeler, music dance arrangements by Zane Mark and musical direction by Ted Sperling. The UK musical director is Martin Lowe. The Full Monty is produced in London by Lindsay Law, Thomas Hall and Sacha Brooks.

- by Terri Paddock