Rebecca Norris and Isabelle Wieman
The Full Monty is a show based on the 1997 film of the same title, surrounding a group of unemployed men forming a male strip tease act, and it has just begun its run here in Nottingham. Impact’s Rebecca Norris and Isabelle Wileman review.
Theatre Royal’s production of The Full Monty was the perfect mix of hilarious, emotional, and a little risqué. With an incredible cast and fantastic technical execution, there’s lots to love in this performance. It must be said that – to nobody’s surprise if who had deigned to watch either the film or the stage production- the ending was the most staggering part. The main leads, Danny Hatchard as Gaz, Jake Quickenden as Guy, Bill Ward as Gerald, Neil Hurst as Dave, Ben Onwukwe as Horse, and Nicholas Prasad as Lomper, gave it their everything and gave the audience their everything. This incredible cast not only acted vehemently but also very bravely to be semi to fully nude.
The highlight, the shining star, the epitome of brilliance that this show could possibly present is in the form of the young, budding actor that played the role of Nathan. Nathan is a plot device, and a lesser actor and director could have left him as just that. However, he breezed onto the stage with an air of confidence; playing him as the heart of the show, the one who convinces his father, our protagonist to follow his dreams and regain custody of the child, the latter’s ultimate goal of both stage and film. Both the character and the actor for the child definitely stood out among the aforementioned great cast, earning the greatest applause upon the delivery of his final emotionally charged lines. Whereas the song “you sexy thing” by Hot Chocolate is arguably synonymous with the film, working hand in hand when the film is mentioned. Therefore, having it played multiple times in the stage production
was a nice touch and provided a nostalgic feel.
The audience’s continual connection and support of these characters are either nostalgia or indifference to the actual story
One Interesting feel of both film and stage is the cross-class dynamics. The conservative character of Gerland and his peripeteia was tragic but more so than the other characters. The audience is expected to denounce conservatism yet assume Gaz and Dave are in the wrong for ruining his job interview and thus his return to maintaining superiority moral, political and financial over his fellow workers. Also on a more social-political turn, it was fascinating to hear the audience feel sorry for Gaz with the chorus of “awws” after his ex-wife and mother of his child rightfully threatened to take their child away from Gaz and gain full custody. Immediately after the child had been in a situation of grown, adult men, suggestively dancing and scantily dressed. With the rise of social media and the focus on the unacceptability of weaponised incompetence, the audience’s continual connection and support of these characters are either nostalgia or indifference to the actual story.
A sensitive topic is done with no extra subtlety than the original, which could spark a commentary on the extent to which media should be edited for modern audiences
Despite all the glory, it must be mentioned that the play deals with sensitive issues such as suicide without warning, which could certainly be triggering for some people. As the play closely followed the film, which was made decades ago, addressing sensitive topics is done with no extra subtlety than the original, which could spark a commentary on the extent to which media should be edited for modern audiences.
Overall, The Full Monty at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal is absolutely worth experiencing for yourself.
Rebecca Norris and Isabelle Wieman
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