Ready to bear all? Well the Grand Opera House is – as the cast of The Full Monty take to the York stage for one week only!
Simon Beaufoy offers a faithful adaptation of the 1997 BAFTA award-winning film celebrating its 25th anniversary – and it’s a party you don’t want to miss.
The Full Monty is at Grand Opera House York from Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 October.
The story follows an unlikely group of men on their journey to be Sheffield’s answer to The Chippendales, however other than the fact they are both planning to strip, the comparisons end there.
The lovable Gaz (Danny Hatchard), the group’s ringleader and instigator takes them on the rollercoaster journey as he uses this one night only event as the solution to financially supporting his son Nathan (Theo Hills) and remaining in his life. Those that join him on this adventure have their own plethora of problems that arise from broken relationships, mental health and lack of self-confidence to their shared hatred for life on the unemployment line.
Yet despite all of this, and the underlying social and political undertones, this really is a laugh out loud comedy to be enjoyed by an extremely wide demographic.
Credit must go to Marc Frankum CDG for his brilliant casting. Each of the men are so uniquely different yet so strong when united together, making their brotherhood something for the audience to delight in. Danny Hatchard’s Gaz was as cheeky as ever and I particularly enjoyed his relationship with Dave (Neil Hurst); I truly believed in their lifelong friendship.
One of the most heartfelt scenes and stand-out acting performances must go to Hurst and his onstage wife Jean (Katy Dean) as they brought sincerity and honesty to the stage – after all there is nothing better than someone accepting you for who you really are, imperfections and all!
After a long wait from an eager crowd Jake Quickenden and his abs were not to be missed when they made their memorable appearance at the end of act one. He was welcomed onto the stage with the loudest of cheers and he remained a fan favourite throughout.
Whilst the entire cast were fantastic, it was Nathan (Theo Hills) and Gerald (Bill Ward) who I feel offered the most outstanding performances. Hills played the adorable yet mature Nathan perfectly as despite being a young child, he showed true grit and determination when the others lost focus.
Ward’s portrayal of gnome-loving Bill was phenomenal as he took on the most turbulent storyline of all, from his devastating losses to his growing charisma, you couldn’t help but root for him!
As the safety curtain rose, we were transported back to Sheffield and its post-industrial era with a set consisting of scaffolding, which acted as jigsaw pieces in the story. Whilst I enjoyed its many uses as it transported us from location to location, accompanied by an abundance of well chosen tracks, I did feel that these changes lacked fluidity at times. However this could simply be the challenge of performing it for the first time at a new venue, and it didn’t take away from an otherwise quality production.
In the words of director Michael Gyngell, ‘the production is about more than stripping’ – and whilst that is true and the show carried a gritty social commentary and heavy topics, it also did lead to the most anticipated final 10 minutes of the show and did not disappoint!
Whether you love a dad-bod or you grabbed a ticket for Quickenden’s six-eight-I-lost-count pack, there’s something for everyone at this show and it really is a firm favourite – a show that makes you proud to be British, and more specifically Northern!
Will the men really only leave their hats on? Well there’s only one way to find out! Don’t miss out on The Full Monty at the Grand Opera House York until Saturday 21 October.
Tickets start from £16 and are available here.