The Full Monty has come to Manchester over this winter period at the Manchester Opera House, and it is well worth the watch. Smutty, naughty, and still able to tug on the heartstrings, the Full Monty is both excellently acted and brilliantly produced.
Famous for TV roles in The Bill, Hollyoaks, and Dancing on Ice (the winner, don’t you know), Gary Lucy showed his experience in the role of main character, Gaz, in this performance. The squeaky high pitch character was hilarious and emotive throughout, as his relationship with Kai Owen on stage was believable. It felt as if the two Sheffield born characters had been friends for years – not that they were just two actors from Essex and Wales.
The whole show is performed in front of the same backdrop, with very few changes to the props around, but this does not take away from the experience. You soon begin to forget that the Conservative Club, garage, and home all look very similar.
Gaz is a jack-the-lad type of guy, who steals and sells his way through life, trying to earn enough money to look after his child who lives with his ex-wife. Gaz, however, is running out of money fast and sees an opportunity for him and his friends to make some money – stripping. The men in his team of male strippers vary from the rhythmically challenged, the old and decrepit, and the well-endowed. Filled with penis jokes galore, and some sexy (?) dancing, it is one definitely for the mums (although I would not suggest sitting next to your own mum), but I think that everyone on some level would enjoy this show.
There’s a few questionable accents throughout, but that is easily made up for with the hilarity of the show and dance numbers. However, it is not just filled with gags, as it also explores sexuality, body image, and how the working class of Sheffield, like many cities across the country, were hit by unemployment during Margaret Thatcher’s era. All of the six men that become a group of strippers, do it through desperation after being stripped of their jobs as steal workers under the Tory government. We explore their battle with money, employment, and family dynamic.