Please note: I saw The Full Monty in Leeds about a year or so ago but somehow forgot to review it… I think that in itself says a lot about my feelings towards the production, but I am going to pull together a super short review of my thoughts from way back when.
Da da da daa, da da da daa…
A cult classic film turned into a musical, ‘how the hell are they going to pull that off’, I thought.
It turns out, with a slight bit of difficulty. Imagine trying to exotically strip off in front of your partner for maybe the second or third time. You know the score, have had a bit of practice but ultimately still hop up and down on that last god damn sock, which makes it go from hot to not in 0.5 seconds. You’re good but not that good. Thankfully you can both laugh it off so it doesn’t really matter that much.
This heartfelt comedy follows a group of hard working and hard done by steelworkers who turn into unlikely yet successful strippers. It’s really nice that the story is based in Sheffield, only a stones through from Leeds, as it gave the audience some form of ownership. And I think many can empathise with each character journey. I hate that word ‘journey’, but it’s true. One of the best things about the film was thankfully not lost in this play, which is the friendship and identities each character has and develops.
The kinda Full Monty
The acting was fair but mostly forgettable and sometimes a tad awkward. It was the soundtrack and key scenes from the movie that managed to keep the production alive for me. The filler bits fell a little flat.
The set was exactly what I was hoping for creating a Steel City with broken windows, dodgy ladders, solid frames and iron bars that commanded the stage. It felt rough, ready and realistic. Yet some well placed lighting and many glittery streamers injected a bit of pizzazz. I liked this ‘Aldi’ take on glam. It kind of reflected the characters attempt at entering the exotic male entertainment field.
‘That’ strip scene
Obviously they delivered the famous final strip scene. And went all the way. But that pesky lighting hid just enough to keep it tasteful. I was slightly disappointed to hear so many women deafeningly ‘holla’, ‘whoop’ and shriek at this point. Calm down, let’s keep it classy.
Not so Hot Stuff
The Full Monty was cheeky and cheerful with the majority female audience members having a right old scream along. But it was always going to be difficult to remake such a classic film. So even though it ‘made me smile’ in parts, overall it wasn’t so ‘hot stuff’ and maybe next time they ‘should leave their hat on’…
Eek sorry for a less than enthusiastic review. The play has had rave reviews from the likes of The Daily Telegraph and won The UK Theatre Award for Best Touring Production. So I’d recommend checking them out for yourselves in their National Tour in 2017. It just wasn’t for me tis all.
Image Credits: The Full Monty The Play