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Review: The Full Monty delights audiences at Lighthouse Poole





NUDITY and social commentary are combined as Simon Beaufoy’s award-winning play The Full Monty opened to riotous applause at Lighthouse Poole on Monday evening.

Based on the hit movie released a quarter of a century ago, the show blends comedy with tough subjects such as redundancy, suicide, AIDS and impotence, with huge sensitivity.

Despite the passage of time, sadly as the country grapples with a cost of living crisis many of the themes still seem as topical today as they were in the 1990’s when the film was first released.

The Full Monty is on stage at Lighthouse Poole until Saturday
The Full Monty is on stage at Lighthouse Poole until Saturday

At the centre of the plot are the friendships and camaraderie which develop between an unlikely gang of unemployed Sheffield steelworkers who embark on a radical plan to support their families and maybe regain their self-respect along the way.

The mastermind of the operation is Gaz (Danny Hatchard), a devoted father who has turned to petty crime in a bid to raise the money he needs to continue seeing his beloved son Nathan. Inspired by a recent visit to Sheffield by the Chippendales, Gaz realises there could be money to be made from stripping and sets to work developing a dance routine.

With the reluctant support of his best mate Dave (Neil Hurst), Gaz soon recruits Lomper (Nicholas Prasad), Gerald (Bill Ward), Horse (Ben Onwukwe) and Guy (Jake Quickenden) and starts preparing to put on the show of a lifetime.

The Full Monty is on stage at Lighthouse Poole until Saturday. Photo Ellie Kurttz
The Full Monty is on stage at Lighthouse Poole until Saturday. Photo Ellie Kurttz

Comic moments are plentiful – from the job centre dance routine to Guy’s big reveal – but the play, under the direction of Michael Gyngell, also tackles many difficult themes head-on as the characters struggle with depression, desperation and hopelessness.

Set against a soundtrack of hits from The Verve, Human League, Tom Jones, Hot Chocolate and Donna Summer, the regular musical interludes allowed the brilliantly designed jigsaw set to change seamlessly from a steelworks setting to a police station, nightclub, and even a ballroom dancing class.

As the big day nears and nerves intensify, the audience are left wondering whether the friends will really go all the way – and whilst I don’t want to spoil the surprise, I would add that theatre staff were very strict in enforcing the no photography rules!

The Full Monty is at Lighthouse Poole until Saturday. Tickets are from £25. To book visit https://www.lighthousepoole.co.uk



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