9-14 March 2015
Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
The story of Prince Siegfried’s love for the Swan Queen Odette, their battle against the evil sorcerer, Rothbart, and a fateful encounter with the manipulative Odile is revealed in English National Ballet’s acclaimed production of Swan Lake. Beloved for its exquisite dancing, beautiful sets and Tchaikovsky’s glorious music, played by the Orchestra of English National Ballet, this Swan Lake is a thrill for the dedicated ballet fan or first-time ballet-goer. As soon as mum and I arrived at the car park next to Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells we knew that we were going to be in for a good evening. The car park was absolutely packed on the lower levels where we normally get a space, luckily it’s a huge car park so there was plenty of space on the upper levels and good value at £1.00 for the entire evening.
The short walk from the car park led us to a very busy foyer buzzing with excitement as queues of predominantly ladies made their way to the seats for the performance of The Full Monty. After a quick drink in the bar we made our way to our seats which although very near the front were luckily not in the front row!
The show is very true to the 1997 film and although full of humour is in parts a sad tale of a group of ordinary guys from Sheffield made redundant due to their factory closing down. Gaz (played by Gary Lucy) is the main character in the story desperately needing cash to pay overdue maintenance payments to keep his son, Nathan. After seeing The Chippendales pack the local working men’s club he comes up with the idea of stripping to earn the cash and sets about finding a group of men to join him. The interviews are hilarious with dodgy dance moves and very poor attempts at stripping. The music is pretty much as the film with great tunes such as Hot Chocolates’ You Sexy Thing getting the audience clapping and cheering. After many doubts about the groups stripping ability the show ends as the film with the full monty, blinded by lights, to rapturous applause.
The cast is full of stars all whom you will recognise from primetime television shows such as EastEnders, Coronation Street and Brookside and as expected the acting is superb. The show is funny but moving, the scenery excellent and very quickly and professionally changed throughout. There is a fair amount of swearing so probably not suitable for younger members of the family and from the audience demographic seems particularity suitable for groups of ladies looking for a fun night out. Don’t let this put you men off!
Don’t miss this excellent show, guaranteed to give you a good laugh but not at the expense of the quality of acting. Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall makes the perfect venue for shows such as this with comfortable seating, excellent acoustics and easy access for the disabled and less mobile. Book your tickets now as The Full Monty plays throughout the country to rave reviews myself included.
Tickets cost from £16.50 to £32.50 (plus £1.25 booking fee).
The Full Monty is at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells until 14 March 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01892 530613.
Assembly Hall Theatre, Crescent Rd, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2LU | 01892 530613