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I was lucky enough to grab half-price tickets to watch The Full Monty at the Noël Coward theatre, which was first seen at the Sheffield Lyceum last year. Written by Simon Beaufoy (who penned the successful film) this play works just as good on stage as it does on the screen, and I heartily agree with Charles Spencer (The Telegraph) who claims that the show is ‘bursting with wit and deeply touching’.
Robert Jones’s set is simple, yet the scene changes are so slick that you find yourself immersed in the old steelworks warehouse, the job centre and the conservative club rather effortlessly. The incredible cast, who strip their underlying emotions as well as their undergarments, seduce the (predominantly female) audience into moments of empathy, laughter and downright excitement.
I grant that many of the jokes are old – and predictable – but the production is the epitome of a fun night out, and it would be belligerent to complain about the script which is predominantly witty and clever. Whilst some critics have complained that the play does not convey the true plight of the unemployed Briton under Thatcher, there were several occasions that were genuinely poignant. From hefty Dave’s concerns about his weight and his marriage, to Lomper’s hidden homosexuality, the play offers the audience a chance to empathise with topics that still trouble many of us today.