REVIEW: The Full Monty at The Alexandra

I'm fairly sure there wasn't anyone in the late 90s who didn't love The Full Monty. With an Oscar winning soundtrack and cast that hit the nail on the head in so many ways, the film version hit the big screen in 1997 and grossed $258 million at the box office. 

Arriving in a theatre full of middle-aged women (and probably the odd hen party or two, if truth be told) there was an amount of trepidation when I took my seat. Aside from the film, two stage versions of this show exist - the play and the musical. Having seen the former on a previous occasion, I was less than enthralled and really hoped that it had been a blip.

The film is outstanding and the musical is great too - so i had to be worth giving the play a second chance? And boy am I glad I did!

This production is based on the original film and has its roots firmly in Sheffield. It tells the tale of six unemployed men, who decide to form a male striptease act after seeing the success of professional troupes. Their reasoning - aside from being a bit inquisitive - is to gather enough money to get somewhere else and for one of the men to be able to continue seeing his son.

However, camaraderie is soon put to the test when it's declared that their show will be better than the Chippendales, because they'll go 'the full monty'. Despite being a comedy, the show also touches on serious subjects such as unemployment, paternal rights, depression and sexuality.

The Full Monty is definitely one of the funniest things I've seen on stage in recent months. With proper laugh out loud moments, I think the connection the stage version has with the audience means this was possibly funnier than the film. However those moments of hilarity were often tinged with poignancy which showcased the talent that the actors on stage have. 

Danny Hatchard and Neil Hurst create a perfect bond as Gaz and Dave - the two men who dream up the concept. Their chemistry is such that you'd assume they'd been mates for decades; an important measure to rate them by considering the narrative. In fact the same can be said for all of our leads; this show relies so much on northern humour and plausible chemistry - and our cast excel from start to finish.

It's also important to mention that the youngest member of the cast, playing Nathan - the son who might lose his Dad for good - was a definite hit with every member of the audience. For someone so young, Rowan Poulton's performance was a mature and brilliantly rehearsed one which endeared him to everybody in the audience and earned him the rapturous applause he received during the finale.

This version of The Full Monty encompasses many aspects of the much loved film. As a homage it stands apart from so many poor stage equivalents and is an absolute must see for any 90s kids who love to reminisce.

If you're looking for Donna Summer and thrusting in queues, this is a must-see!

The Full Monty runs at The Alexandra until Saturday 3rd February. For more information, or to get tickets, head to

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