Entertainment & Arts

Full Monty play scores with critics

The Full Monty
Image caption The Full Monty play features Kenny Doughty (right) as Gaz and Roger Morlidge as Dave

A stage version of 1997 film The Full Monty has been hailed as a hit after its opening night in Sheffield.

The story of six steelworkers-turned-strippers has been adapted for the theatre by the film's writer Simon Beaufoy and will soon go on a UK tour.

"West End producers are dying to get their mitts on it, and small wonder," The Daily Telegraph theatre critic Dominic Cavendish wrote.

The Times' Donald Hutera said it "can't top the film but, happily, equals it".

He wrote: "Broad, saucy, raucous and occasionally coy, The Full Monty is the epitome of unpretentious, feel-good commercial entertainment."

The play stays true to the tale of the unemployed Sheffield mates who find themselves on the scrap heap of life after their factory shuts. They decide to stage a male strip show to boost their bank balances and self-esteem.

The actors include Kenny Doughty, who fills the role played by Robert Carlyle in the film, ex-Coronation Street star Craig Gazey and Simon Rouse, known for playing The Bill's Jack Meadows.

They do go the full monty, stripping off completely at the climax of the play - but clever lighting spares the actors' blushes.

Describing the atmosphere in the audience at the Sheffield Lyceum during the final striptease scene, Daily Mail critic Quentin Letts wrote that "the wenches of Sheffield growled like Jensen Interceptors at the traffic lights".

"Then came lift-off time. Not, perhaps, since the impis descended on redcoats in the Zulu wars have there been such guttural, blood-curdling ululations."

Letts awarded the show four stars, deciding that it "falls just short of five-star status because it is too knowing from the start - a little too full-phwoarr for the hen-night crowds".

The Independent's Jonathan Brown praised Doughty, Rouse and Roger Morlidge, who was "superb" as the overweight and reluctant ex-crane driver Dave.

Mark Shenton of The Stage, meanwhile, predicted: "I suspect the West End will surely beckon... though reprising the warmth of its reception in its home city will be a tough act to follow."

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