THE FULL MONTY Comes to The Belgrade
One of the most popular and critically acclaimed British dramas is heading to the Belgrade Theatre this February as The Full Monty rounds off its last ever UK tour in 2019.
Based on his smash hit 1997 film of the same name, Simon Beaufoy's story of six Sheffield steel workers who decide to stage a strip show to raise much-needed cash is now in its sixth year on stage, with the current production by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers gearing up for a sensational last hurrah in 2019.
First performed at the Sheffield Lyceum in February 2013, the show's enduring success is due largely to its winning and distinctly British combination of heart and self-deprecating humour. On the one hand, there are undeniably poignant contemporary resonances in its themes of unemployment, financial hardship, mental health, divorce, sexuality and body image.
Yet at the same time, audiences are assured that they'll be in for a fun, feelgood night out, full of laughter, spectacle, familiar songs and sequences, and a hopeful, uplifting ending. What's more, it's all presented by a cast who are well-versed in the story's nuances.
Having appeared in almost every single Monty tour to date, Dancing on Ice winner Gary Lucy (Hollyoaks, EastEnders, The Bill, Footballers' Wives) is back in his starring role as namesake Gary "Gaz" Schofield, alongside Torchwood and Hollyoaks star Kai Owen as his best mate Dave Horsefall - the roles famously originated by Robert Carlyle and Mark Addy on screen.
Also reprising their roles as "Horse" and Gerald respectively are Louis Emerick (Coronation Street) and Andrew Dunn (Dinnerladies), with Monty newcomers James Redmond (Hollyoaks) and Joe Gill (Emmerdale) as Guy and Lomper.
Gary Lucy said: "People really love it. From proper theatregoers in Cambridge to Blackpool hen parties, everyone has an absolute ball. It is a gift of a role for me."
James Redmond added: "We can all relate to it and it is very moving. The poverty these guys lived in; Maggie Thatcher encouraged them to buy their council houses and then closed the steelworks so they were desperate. It's a heart-warming story that still feels relevant today. Because half of us voted remain and half voted leave, none of us know what the future holds."
Completing the cast are Liz Carney as Jean, Amy Thompson as Mandy and Fraser Kelly and Nathan Zammit as Gaz's son Nathan, with Andrew Ashford, Stephen Donald, Keeley Fitzgerald, Bryonie Pritchard and Lee Tomes filling the remaining roles.
The company also have an experienced pair of hands to rely on in director Rupert Hill, who has previously appeared in the show himself.
Rupert Hill said: "It gives me huge insight into the way it works. I don't need to reinvent the wheel in every scene but there are things that I want to explore," he said. "The main thing for me was that all the female characters felt a bit secondary, so I am trying to make the relationship between the couples to be more meaningful and integral to the story."
The Full Monty brings its final UK tour to the Belgrade Theatre Coventry from Monday 25 February until Saturday 2 March. Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055 or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are even cheaper.