The Full Monty

I saw The Full Monty at The Prince of Wales Theatre, London, last night. I have to admit that it was a lot better than I expected it to be. The central story that you’d recognise from the film is there but it has been adapted for the stage and re-set in Buffalo, New York.

In particular, the introduction of some new characters (the excellent Lynda Baron as Jeanette and the lovely Julian Essex-Spurrier as Keno, a professional male stripper) helps the story along well. The songs were strong and I shall be looking forward to getting the CD. In my opinion, Ben Richards (Jerry) was excellent as the show’s main character – which is useful, as he does seem to have a majority of the show to carry. The rest of the cast were great: Paul Keating made Ethan into a amusing character, adding a slap-stick dimension to the humour and David Ganly carried Dave’s insecurities and vulnerabilities well.

Without taking anything away from the show I would have liked to see it set back in the UK and the main narrative driver (Jerry’s need for money to keep seeing his son) was somewhat unbelievable (even for a West-End Musical). However, if you fancy an evening in a theatre that is 70% groups of women (although it didn’t seem overly hen-nighty) then I would thoroughly recommend it.