The Full Monty is a Northern British Classic film that is entertaining whilst concentrated around some pretty grim and hard-hitting social and political truths. I am very happy to share that stage play has become one of the most phenomenal theatrical productions in British Theatre. Based on the smash hit film and adapted for the stage by Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy, this hilarious and heartfelt production has received standing ovations every night and won the prestigious UK Theatre Award.
Opening night was at Leeds Grand Theatre on Monday the 25th of March and will run until the 30th. With a full house raucous laughter could be heard all over the theatre. This really emphasises how the Theatre is a place that brings people together, in this case, through humour and the anticipation of nudity.
This “chuffing brilliant” production is about six out-of-work men from Sheffield getting their kit off to make some money. This piece is set in Sheffield in the 1970’s, despite the comedy both the film and the stage production touch on serious subjects such as unemployment, fathers’ rights, depression, impotence, homosexuality, body image, working class culture and suicide. What happened to the working class steelworkers and minors is a part of history that still leaves some northern folk with a lump in their throat. What Northerns, like myself, can pride ourselves in is our strength, community value and our senses of humour. Simon Beaufoy’s clever and insightful play brings out the grit, the humour and the determination to survive, as well as our hard love for our friends and family. This production is something to be proud of.
Every actor involved performed to the highest of standards, perfect comedic timing, excellent relationships and chemistry between the actors and of course there is no accent better than a Norther one. We really do know how to make swearing and crude language sound good.
One scene in particular stands out and that is where the men are queuing up for the job centre and they slowly begin to dance to the classic song “Hot Stuff.” Just as famous in the film, I dare say this scene was funnier. The simple movements suddenly turn into dramatic outbursts which had the audience in tears. Half the audience were singing and dancing, creating a lively, energetic atmosphere.
The set design is full, fun and clear to understand when a new scene is in a new area. The set changes are quick therefore the audience are quickly put back into the story line and are not distracted.
The sound was clear, even sitting at the very back in the balconies I could hear the actors clearly. The lighting design is simple and effective, especially at the end when the lads get all their kit off and were left with some lovely silhouettes of some very naked men.
If you’re looking for a feel-good, fun evening, this show ticks the boxes. Highly recommended watch, do not miss out.