Sunday 17 February 2013

The Full Monty at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre

Although we live in the Lincolnshire countryside, we are on the border of both Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire and Sheffield is just 45 minutes away by car.   I love Sheffield, it has some great shops and some really excellent theatres and music venues.

I also love The Full Monty, and can hardly believe that the film was released 16 years ago - where on earth does time go?   I remember going to the cinema to watch it twice, first with Martin and then the next week I took my Mum.  I bought the video (remember those?) and the CD soundtrack.  It's such a feel-good story, but so very emotional at times too - like most people, I have my favourite scenes and lines too.   When I found out that The Full Monty had been adapted for the stage and was going to begin the tour in Sheffield  (where the story is set), at the Lyceum Theatre, I knew that I just had to get tickets.

We went yesterday, to the afternoon matinee performance which was completely sold-out.  The audience was probably 80% female and I think that Martin felt a little uncomfortable when we first took our seats, but by 10 minutes into the show he was enjoying it just as much as the rest of the audience.

The show is fabulous!  I was wondering how the story could be adapted for the stage, but the set is perfect and the casting is superb.  I don't watch a great deal of TV, so I didn't recognise a few of the actors, but it was clear that they were very popular with the audience and I thought they were perfectly cast.

The film's original screenwriter Simon Beaufoy has again worked his magic on the stage version which is directed by Daniel Evans, the Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres.  This is not the first time that The Full Monty has been a stage show, but it seems that the last adaptation had the story moved across the Atlantic to the USA.   This version is firmly back in it's roots - in Sheffield, where it should be and where the gritty Northern humour really works.

I have read a few online reviews that mention the behaviour of the audience, there have been mentions of unacceptable behaviour from 'ladettes' in the audience!   Although there was a hen-party in the audience yesterday, I can honestly say that I witnessed nothing like that.  The audience all seemed to enjoy the show as much as Martin and I did, there was much laughter and some clapping, but nothing that interfered with the performance.

I looked around as we were leaving the theatre, and everyone had a huge smile on their face.   The Full Monty runs until 23 February in Sheffield, but I believe that it is completely sold out now.  The tour moves on around the country, ending in Leeds in May before going to the West End in London.

I'd encourage everyone to go and see The Full Monty - it's wonderful!

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