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Review: The Full Monty at Curve

To call ‘The Full Monty’ a crowd pleasing production would be a gigantic understatement. One look at the droves of women coming out of the Curve last night – their smiles broad and eyes twinkling with delight told me all that I needed to know…

Fans of the iconic 1997 hit movie, certainly won’t be disappointed by this feel good theatre adaptation, which has all the original ingredients – lovable characters, classic British humour and a soundtrack to die for.

Leicester Time: Review: The Full Monty at Curve
Picture: Ellie Kurttz

In fact, I’d go as far as to say that ‘The Full Monty’ (especially the grand finale) works even better on stage as it feels like you’re actually witnessing a real life strip show – with all the whoops and cheers, energy and anticipation of women all around.

The grand finale whipped the audience into a frenzy and everyone was clapping along to the famous strains of ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘You Sexy Thing’ as the lads strutted their stuff on stage to the booming soundtrack.

I felt a surge of adrenaline run through me as they teased the climax of their act – ‘The Full Monty’ of course. How were they going to do ‘the big reveal’ and were we actually going to see anything? I braced myself, my eyes wide with anticipation (and a strange side helping of anxiety!)

Without giving too much away – the production did indeed live up to its name. However, clever lighting ensured that the actor’s dignity was preserved as much as possible during this ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moment…

The story of ‘The Full Monty’ follows ‘Gaz’ and a series of lads who worked previously at Sheffield’s synonymous steel works. The men are on the metaphorical ‘scrap heap’ after losing their jobs and Gaz is in danger of losing access to his son.

Leicester Time: Review: The Full Monty at Curve
Picture: Ellie Kurttz

In an act of desperation (and after getting a sniff of the money that can be made), he rallies the lads and motivates them to try their hand at stripping (to hilarious effect!)

Danny Hatchard played the part of ‘Gaz’ (made famous by Robert Carlisle) to perfection – warming the audience with his roguish nature, infectious enthusiasm and spunky dance moves!

Jake Quickenden – of X Factor and ‘I’m a Celebrity’ fame, was also a hit with the ladies, achieving a huge roar from the crowd when he first appeared as the camp, musclebound ‘Guy.’

His character certainly got one of the biggest moments in the show… I’ll leave that to your imagination! It comes at the end of act one and certainly got tongues wagging during the interval…

Leicester Time: Review: The Full Monty at Curve
Picture: Ellie Kurttz

One of the more serious and dramatic scenes came towards the end of the first act, where a main character (Lomper) attempted suicide, only to be saved by Gary and Dave.

One thing that I must point out is that this scene can be triggering for people who have been affected by suicide. The lighthearted banter around this scene was something which I wasn’t entirely comfortable with and there was some rather uncomfortable laughter from the audience i noticed.

However, it was great to see Lomper gain a happier outlook by the end of the show, through the friendship and camaraderie he develops as a result of joining the stripping troop. He actually has some of the funniest lines in the show. My hat goes of to the actor Nicholas Prasad for delivering them with expert comic timing (and managing to keep a straight face in between the audiences roaring fits of laughter!)

Another thing which impressed me greatly during the show, were the quick and seamless set changes – the way that things were flipped around on stage in order to fulfil a scene was something which I watched with fascination as the story, the banter and the character developments unfolded…

Leicester Time: Review: The Full Monty at Curve
Picture: Ellie Kurttz

‘The Full Monty’ touches on serious themes such as impotence, depression homosexuality, body image and the challenges which come out of being unemployed. However, despite these heavy topics, the overriding tone and energy is one of unbridled fun, camaraderie and humour.

It is a thoroughly enjoyable play that combines humour, heart, and social commentary. If you’re looking for a play that will make you laugh, tug at your heartstrings and leaves you wanting more, then The Full Monty is for you.

Catch it at Curve until Saturday, March 30.