The Full Monty (2016), King's Theatre, Edinburgh
This was a great little 1997 movie set in depressed Sheffield, a city felled by industrial decline. In the intervening 20 odd years the world has changed – Fathers for Justice, equal marriage, Strictly Come Dancing, internet porn.
By rights The Full Monty shouldn’t work. Like in an old Ealing comedy a group of unemployed lads who once had skilled factory and workshop jobs are now on the scrapheap and deeply in debt. They hit on an unlikely plan to earn money and regain their self-respect. They decide to follow the lead of the Chippendales, the male dance/stripper troupe and although they can’t dance and don’t have the Chippendales’ musculature they do have a unique selling proposition. They will do the “full monty”. The guys each have a reason to do the strip act – even if it’s only a once-in-a-lifetime dare.
The ringleader Gaz (Gary Lucy) needs to pay child maintenance had his best mate Dave’s (Kai Owens) best option for a job is washing dishes for the hated Conservative Club. But it’s their ex-foreman Gerald (Andrew Dunn, best remembered for his role as Tony in BBC’s Dinner Ladies) who puts his ballroom dancing knowledge to use to train the boys to dance in step.
In the opening few scenes there may be too much exposition but the story soon romps along aided by great set and lighting. It’s touching, it’s sad and above all it's laugh-out-loud funny.
On opening night finale Gary’s red satin jockstrap almost had a fashion malfunction. It’s an evening that will make you think as well as chortle.
Mon 24 to Sat 29 October Evenings 7.30pm Matinees 2.30pm