2-7 November 2015
Reviewed by Katie Allen
When I saw The Full Monty was coming to the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton I was intrigued to see it. I remember that I really enjoyed the film and drove all my housemates mad with the soundtrack on repeat almost 20 years ago. I noted with interest that the screenplay was by Simon Beaufoy who not only wrote the screenplay for the original film but also won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire.
The play opens in a disused steelworks with Gaz (Gary Lucy) breaking in to nick a girder for scrap with his son Nathan (Fraser Kelly) and his best mate Dave (Martin Miller). This detailed set on three levels remains for the whole play transforming from the factory to the other locations needed with some simple additions and lighting effects.
Simon Beaufoy has kept all our favourite moments from the film with even some of the same dialogue, well if it’s not broke (and it won a BAFTA), don’t fix it.
The enthusiastic audience, with a slight hen night feel, were waiting for the last scene right from the beginning. Any hint of flesh or a wiggle of the bum was met with approving whistles and hollers and the cast seemed to lap it all up.
I found the first act to be a little slow while it set up the story and the background/motives of each character. Once “Horse” (Louis Emeric) showed off his Land of a 1000 Dances the mood lifted and I couldn’t wait to see the motley crew succeed in their deviant endeavour.
The second act showed the relationships between the characters develop. Along with the comedy there were some heart-breaking moments; a father estranged from his son, a husband with low self-esteem following unemployment, a proud man who hasn’t told his wife he doesn’t have a job anymore and a young man discovering his sexuality. I saw the film in my early twenties but now I’m 40 I think I understood and appreciated these storylines more and found them very poignant.
For me the standout performances were by Martin Miller and Bobby Scofield. I really empathised with their characters with their personal struggles and cheered when they overcome them to dance in the working man’s club.
And so the payoff – do they do the Full Monty?
You’ll just have to go and see for yourself!
Tickets cost from £15.50 to £35 (booking fees may apply).
The Full Monty is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton until 7 November 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811