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The Full Monty (Sheffield)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Sixteen years on from the release of the film of the same name, The Full Monty thrusts its way back into the hearts of Sheffielders with this fantastic new stage adaptation featuring an all-star cast, directed by Daniel Evans.

Writer Simon Beaufoy, who won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire (The Full Monty was also nominated for four Academy Awards) describes the production as a homecoming for the characters and story, who have travelled to Hollywood and the West End before returning to the steel city.

Set in the late 1980’s, the tale takes place during the Thatcher years and sees the six main characters hit by unemployment, and a sense of desolation at losing what they believed to be their ‘job for life.’ The recession of 1988 is different to that of 2013 as the concept of a ‘job for life’ is less prevalent, but the themes of hope despite hardship and having to ‘make do and mend’ resonate with audiences of today and those who remember the earlier struggles also.

The play, like the film, deals with the quite grim topics of unemployment, depression, suicide, and the personal struggle of a man coming to terms with his homosexuality. In true Yorkshire fashion, these are approached with dark comedy and a gritty sense of humour; even the scene of Lomper’s attempted suicide is filled with laughter.

Adult themes, nudity and strong language may upset the easily offended, but they are integral components of the rich tapestry of human experience, which colours the story. The story is more than a group of men becoming strippers; it is a journey of vigour and emancipation out of oppression; both financially and personally.

The production has proved such a huge success; it is already sold-out in Sheffield. Determined theatregoers will be forced to beg, borrow or steal tickets for its imminent tour and stint in the West End.

The Full Monty has sold out its Sheffield run but goes on tour and will be returning to our region from 6 May at the Leeds Grand Theatre.


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