The Full Monty – Review – Bradford Alhambra

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the full monty bradford alhambra review Anthony Lewis, Chris Fountain, Kai Owen, Gary Lucy, Louis Emerick

The Full Monty – Review

Bradford Alhambra, March 2017

by Daniel Roach

The stage version of The Full Monty, by Simon Beaufoy, closely follows the 1997, hugely successful British Film – and it certainly does not disappoint a packed Bradford Alhambra.

the full monty bradford alhambra review Kai Owen & Gary Lucy in The Full MontyThe story, as most will know by now, follows a group of redundant Sheffield steelworkers on their journey to become male strippers. It intertwines with rather emotional, yet consistently funny, plot lines. The play’s main protagonist is desperate father ‘Gaz’ (Gary Lucy) as he struggles to pay maintenance and have access to his son.

The relationship between the actors starring in this play is clearly strong and plays out beautifully on stage. Gary Lucy takes the role of cheeky chappy character Gaz. He has the audience, in particular its female members, swooning from the moment he steps on stage (although after 500 plus shows I would expect his Yorkshire accent to be better refined).

His relationship with his son Nathan, played by Felix Yates, is strained yet real and touching. Especially when Nathan offers his pocket money savings to his dad. It’s a moving moment, that lightens with a definite Yorkshire spin, when Nathan calls it an investment.

“Carefully balances gravity with levity”

Guy (Chris Fountain) is introduced during the stripping auditions and is instantly a hit. A hilarious Guy leaves very little to the audience’s imagination in his first scene. Indeed, I can’t help but think that this performance will do great things for Chris Fountain’s career after some time out of the limelight.

the full monty bradford alhambra review Louis Emerick, Andrew Dunn, Kai Owen, Gary Lucy, Chris FountainUndertones of depression, suicide, unemployment and penury form the play’s foundations. These themes give the show a depth and beauty that will confound anyone who believes it is a shallow play about men baring all for money. A particular stand out performance is Kai Owen as Dave. He steals the show with perfect comic timing and is very entertaining from beginning to end.

Another stand out performance is Anthony Lewis as Lomper. A simple yet charming character who takes the audience with him on his journey of self-discovery.

The big finale brings us to a sold out working men’s club where the live audience transforms into crowds of screaming people waiting for the men to come on stage and bare all. Sparks certainly fly and the crowd roars as items of clothing are thrown into the audience.

This unique play is pure British comedy undercut with serious undertones that carefully balance gravity with levity. Here, it plays out with some truly talented actors, providing a night of wonderful theatre that everyone will surely enjoy.

images: Matt Crockett

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