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Review: The Full Monty, Birmingham Hippodrome

Birmingham | News | Published:

Simon Beaufoy's 1997 The Full Monty screenplay, telling of unemployed steelworkers hoping to make money by parading their wobbly bits, was underpinned by gritty economic reality.

It joined Brassed Off and Billy Elliot in showing working class integrity and achievement in difficult circumstances.

The film was hijacked and made into an Americanised-musical failing to capture the warm, innocent humour of the original but with British talent back in control this new stage version appears certain to be a massive success.

Kenny Doughty is Gaz, a father so far behind with maintenance payments he loses access to son Nathan, winningly portrayed by Jay Olpin. Roger Morlidge is hyper-self-critical Dave,

Craig Gazey friendless Lomper who comes to terms with his own personality and Sidney Cole the arthritic, but very willing, Horse.

Simon Rouse's Gerald hasn't told his wife he has lost his job and Kieran O'Brien is Guy, is best described as "The lunchbox has landed!"

A redundant steel mill is a very atmospheric setting, and there are excellent supporting performances.

There are few remaining evening seats this week, though Thursday and Saturday's matinees have some availability.

Jerald Smith

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