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The Full Monty Review - Lichfield Garrick

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
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Nothing Is Lost As Sheffield Becomes Buffalo, New York
It can never be easy trying to create a stage musical out of a hit movie, particularly when you set the story in a different country with all that entails in terms of accents.

But the stage version of The Full Monty is an undoubted success, and Lichfield Operatic Society also achieves success from its decision to completely change musical direction, having previously put on the classic, The King and I.

The Full Monty, Lichfield Garrick, Lichfield Operatic Society
The Full Monty brought to you by Lichfield Operatic Society

This Americanised musical stage version of the 1997 hit British film of the same name moves the story from Sheffield in Yorkshire to the comparable steelworks city of Buffalo, New York.

But the musical tells the same, all-important story of a group of unemployed steelworkers who decide to become strippers 'for one night only' in order to make some much-needed money.

Lichfield Garrick
Nudity takes to the stage at Lichfield theatre

The tale follows the friendship between the six men as they embark on their fun-filled, but also poignant journey to go "the full monty" and bare all in front of a thousand screaming women.

In fact, the main material change caused by switching to America is that the infamous "Arsenal off-side trap" mentioned in the film to help the strippers learn their dance steps is replaced by a basketball reference.

Lichfield Operatic Society
Lichfield Operatic making big change from The King and I

At the centre of the story is divorcee Jerry trying to maintain access to his young son after falling behind with his custody payments, and both Phil Bourne as Jerry and Ethan Bowley as Nathan truly excel.

But the heartstrings are tugged in several other ways amidst all the laughter before the 'Hot Metal' strippers finally go all the way in the final act.

In fact, this is as good a place to mention that the show does contains nudity and is therefore unsuitable for children - a warning that was certainly heeded on the sell-out opening night of the week-long run at Lichfield Garrick, from October 13-17.

Lichfield Garrick
Catch The Full Monty until October 17

The remainder of the 'strippers' - Ben Green, Patrick Jervis, David Hill, Fidel Lloyd and Mark Johnson - also deserve praise for their performances, and not only for bravely baring all.

There is also a strong, largely female, support cast who really come into their own as Hot Metal finally reach their big night.

For more information, and to check on ticket availability (prices from 15), please call the Lichfield Garrick Box Office on 01543 412121 or visit
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Why? Musical Theatre At Its Very Best
When: 13-17 October 2015
Phone: 01543 412121
Where: Lichfield Garrick, Castle Dyke, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6HR
Cost: Tickets from 15
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