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The Full Monty (Newcastle)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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With Newcastle’s Theatre Royal currently undergoing a massive refit audience’s need not fear that they will be missing out on the musical front as The Full Monty fills the gap very nicely. The West End Operatic Society tackles this musical version of the stripping steel workers head on and the result is a good night’s entertainment and who can ask for more?

For the musical version of the hit film, the action moves to Buffalo, New York, from Sheffield, although the characters and story line are still very recognisable. While the music and lyrics by David Yazbek are instantly forgettable, in place they move the story along nicely, as we head to the famous Full Monty finale.

This is really an ensemble piece in every sense of the word and it is clear that everyone is pulling together from the start. But full credit must go to the six main actors, who never allowed their nerves to show and appeared to take the stripping scenes in their stride.

It is not often that you want people to mime in a musical, but the final number would have benefitted from this by allowing the unsightly microphone packs to be dispensed with as the guys did the Full Monty. If I had to make a criticism it would be the recommended age for the show is 12+, and I do feel that is too low. I personally would have felt very uncomfortable, especially in the first half if I had taken my children along. But as the average age of the audience appeared to be a couple of generations ahead of that, this may be an unnecessary concern.

However congratulations must be given to all involved, as this show fills the musical gap we are currently feeling in Newcastle, until the Theatre Royal reopens later this year.


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