Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Full Monty -Review- Tyne Theatre

The Full Monty
Tyne Theatre
West End Operatic Society
11 April 2011

Unemployed steel workers from Buffalo in New York, take on the Chippendales to win over their wives, and to reassemble some purpose in their lives.
A cash making scheme see the lads reacquainting friendships..and having a lot of fun along the way.

What started life as the 1997 film, based in Sheffield, The Full Monty was adapted for the theatre in 2000. Tonight in Newcastle we are treated to the full blown sexy musical production put on by the West End Operatic Society.
Adrian Jackson (who was fantastic in my review of him in Sweet Charity) sets the scene as Keno the professional stripper putting on a show for the man mad crowd. He takes no bull from Jerry(Brian Jordan) and Dave(Garry Martin)-the out of luck and skint ex steelworkers-when they break into the backstage area to see if they can turn their hands-and their bodies- into doing something useful for a change. He doesn't rate their chances, but the lads have money, pride and emotional scores to settle.
Joining the lads on this exciting experience are Malcolm(Kevin Rhodes), Harold(Robert Younger), Noah(Horse)(Leon Gill) and Ethan(Mark Armstrong), who audition with mixed and hilarious results.
The show is packed full with spectacular dancing. Leon-who was in the amazing king and I last year- performs a brilliant 'Big Black Man' that not only showed that he can act very well, but he can also strut his stuff! I was also very impressed with the quality of the singing on offer. Jerry took to the mic with 'Breeze Off The River' and illuminated the theatre with his talents. The ladies faired very well too, with 'You Rule My World' sung superbly by Georgie(Katy Bowler) and Vicki(Carol Emerson).
The fabulous stage settings really complimented the show and the acting. The scene changes were done wonderfully on time with minimal fuss, it all gelled very well together. No musical would be complete without an orchestra, Graham West and Mark Thompson have put together a fine ensemble that rocked the place, superb musicianship. The brilliant percussion section will have you shaking your maracas all night!
I was also very impressed with the accents of all on stage, not once did a little bit of 'Geordie' slip out, this emphasises how well the cast and crew have worked on this production.
Martyn Knight has been involved in theatre for 43 years and it really showed tonight, a very tight direction from him not only in man-management but also with the choreography, some really nice performances from all.
The Full Monty is an amazing show, very professionally put across, with some great humour and unforgettable acting skills by the cast.
This is my first review for WEOS and I was blown away by the success of it all. I look forward to the future with them.
If you want to see something really special, then grab your wallets and head along to the Tyne..you wont regret it!

Michael Hunter

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