The Full Monty – Take your hats off lads that was …..Brilliant !
The full monty play based on the BAFTA award winning 1997 film, is currently performing its last ever national tour and we were honoured for the tour to include Cardiff! Written by the incredibly talented Simon Beaufou, this really brings the iconic movie to life. Set in Sheffield, England, in the 1980s, it tells the story of six unemployed men, struggling to find employment, due to the closure of the steel works. Starring Gary Lucy, Louis Emerick, Joe Gill, James Redmond, Andrew Dunn and welsh legend Kai Owen, who all capture the roles perfectly.
The transition from the screen to stage is delivered extremely well and gave fans one hell of an experience! Joe gill who plays the character of ‘Lomper’, is trying to come to terms with being gay and struggles with not adhering to the male stereotype figure. Joe portrayed the character fantastically and really connected with his character. There is a scene where he tries to kill himself because of his struggles with these issues and I must say he executed this scene tastefully and commendably, with light humour included.
His line to a female stripper, who tries to audition for their ‘buns of steel’ group, of “it’s simple love, you’ve got knockers and we’re after knobs” was hilarious, such great writing from Simon Beaufou. James Redmond that plays the character of Guy is a great support to Lomper and again really connected with his character and had had great stage presence. Kai Owen who plays Dave was superb and said to me backstage, how proud he was to be performing in his home country of Wales, he definitely is flying the Welsh flag high for Wales. His character addressed fat shaming issues and how people do struggle with this. The audience loved him and become extremely excited when he bared all! Kai we love you!
Gary Lucy is such a natural at playing the character of Gaz and really does have buns of steel! His portrayal of Gaz was solid and real, long live Gary Lucy! Louis Emerick who plays horse busted out some super dance moves! He really did shake his booty! Andrew Dunn who plays middle class Gerald, showed how the closure of the steel works, affected a variety of people from all different walks of life, he portrayed the character of Gerald perfectly.
I also have to mention Alex Frost who also starred in channel four’s hit tv show ‘cucumber’ and who is starring in his first ever west end show, as many characters, including a police man, burglar and job seeker. Alex is a very talented actor and plays his roles really well. The iconic dole queue scene was played fantastically and was a highlight of the show for me. I would like to congratulate the whole cast and production team for such outstanding work and sensational performances, along with a superbly executed transition from stage to screen. The stage set was an abandoned steel works, which was transformed into a street, working mans club and dole office. This made sure the powerful message of how the closure of them affected so many people, stayed highlighted throughout the whole performance. There were multiple hit records featured, such as the recognisable ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘You Sexy Thing’, with the men’s amazing dance moves really exciting the audience!
You can catch the show on its final tour in Cardiff until Saturday the 16th of March at the Wales millennium centre. If you want a fun filled and heart warming afternoon or night out, then look no further! Although please do leave your hat on!
Words Brett Salway