Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Full Monty -Review- Whitley Bay Playhouse

The Full Monty
15 May 2013

It's never easy being at the bottom of the barrel, fearing for what the future might hold.
This is what Jerry is feeling, out of work and skint.
The only future that he can see is a life without seeing much of his son Nathan. Jerry must come up with his barrel full of cash to pay off his wife- to secure co-custody.
It's never going to be easy in Buffalo, with a shut down steelworks, to find a new job, or muster up enough money to sustain life.
When a Chippendale performance come to town, Jerry gets an idea stuck into his head that will hopefully put him back on the right track.
With the help of some of his former colleagues, Jerry leads a band of shy and retiring middle aged men into a one off performance of their lives.

Streaming into the Playhouse bar area before the play, were some very giggly ladies; all hoping I am sure, for a peak of a bit of manly flesh, all glammed up and ready to go.
The play starts up with  a very professional Chippendale performance by Aaron Phillips, which not only had the women in the cast drooling for more, but also the very prominent female audience members, who after consuming the pre-theatre drinks on offer, are starting to get loud and vocal!
Brian Jordan, comes into his own, of main character Jerry, superbly acting to gather his troops of fairly unwilling participants to put together the 'Full Monty' package. His performance was brilliant as his character went from the highs and lows of trying to lead a normal life, with the demands of his ex wife Pam, played by Emma Smith, and her new partner, getting to him to the stage of mighty frustration. Well Done Brian!
Along the way Sam Johnson, playing Dave (Jerry's right hand man, also with a heap load of problems at home with his wife, and the very uncertain unemployment situation) was brilliant in his role as the heavyweight candidate. The way that he handled the scenes, came over very well to the audience, with genuine vocal offers of encouragement.
Leon Gill, playing the auditioning Horse, was superb as his funny and charismatic playing part, suited him right down to the ground. I have seen Leon quite a few times, and each one is bettered to the last.
Katie Howes, playing very vocal pianist Jeanette, was in cracking form as she joked and swigged her way through playing the tunes that the gathering troupe strutted their stuff to.
All in all a good performance from the sizeable cast, the the audience loved tonight, and not just for the titillation, some very good scenes were put together from the experienced players.
I didn't however care for the sets, they were a bit flimsy...and very amateur-ish, they didn't at all befit the lovely surroundings of the Playhouse. At one stage I thought Dave was going to fall through the toilet that he was sat upon. Some of the actors American accents were also a little bit come and go, with the odd stumble back into Geordieness.
However these small little crits of mine, certainly wouldn't put me off recommending this crowd pleasing funny play, Bea Atkinson, directing has done a great job in assembling a fab cast and putting the smiles back onto the faces of the people.

The Full Monty is playing until 18th May

Michael Hunter

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