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The Full Monty (Birmingham)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Most people know one thing about The Full Monty, it’s about a group of male strippers. There is however a whole lot more to this show than that. The themes in the show are as relevant now as they were in the 80’s when this is set.

As the redundant steel workers struggle to make ends meet and deal with unemployment in their own way, we are shown a realistic portrayal of the struggles faced by those in that position. Each character has his issues, Gaz the laddish, confident rogue played with gusto by Kenny Doherty, who would do anything for his son, Dave (Roger Morlidge) dealing with weight problems and Gerald (Simon Rouse) trying desperately to hide his unemployment from his wife. These and the other men all pull together to get back the most important thing they have lost, male pride.

The script is liberally peppered with humour which keeps you smiling after the show has ended. The humour serves to lighten the mood but also make the poignant moments stronger. The scene between Dave and his wife (Rachel Lumberg) before the performance is particularly moving

The film has been transferred onto the stage seamlessly, including all the favourite moments and lines from the film as you would expect it to. The derelict factory set is cunningly used as a backdrop and base for the many other locations, including the club stage at the end. It is here that the audience change from viewers of the men’s lives, into an audience at the club ready for the one night only show. The reaction raised the roof.

The strength of the performances (and a little bravery) warranted the audiences standing ovation. This is a wonderful show that brings smiles and laughter to many faces.

 - Annette Nuttall


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