The Full Monty in the West End is life-enhancing – for one night, at least

26 Feb


Cast of The Full Monty in London's West End (Picture: Johan Persson) Cast of The Full Monty in London’s Noel Coward Theatre (Picture: Johan Persson)

Theatre review: The Full Monty at Noel Coward Theatre

The face and voice of Margaret Thatcher loom large in this tale of out-of-work Sheffield steelworkers who take up stripping to reassert their masculine worth. However, rather than the specifics of late 1980s politics, it’s the lurking presence of the Grim Reaper that really animates this full-frontal, feel-good show.

James Beaufoy’s script, adapted from his screenplay for the 1997 Britflick, is more workmanlike than inspirational. The men’s situations are schematically conceived: one has a problem with his wife; another with his son; another with depression; another with his sexuality. Their members are differentiated with similar diagrammatic precision: one is huge; another is tiny and cowering; one is overexcitable; another is totally dysfunctional.

There are plenty of laughs in Daniel Evans’s slick staging, although the storytelling can feel cartoonish…

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