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the full monty whitley bay playhouse

The Full Monty review

The Full Monty – Playhouse Whitley Bay

~ a guest blog by Mandy Charlton  

I remember the first time I saw The Full Monty, the movie hit of 2007, I was 23 years old and there’d never been a movie like it, a great British movie set in the Steelworks of Sheffield with a great soundtrack, the movie was such a hit that it was reimagined as a Broadway musical, given a brand new musical score and moved from Sheffield to Buffalo in the USA.

Fast forward to this evening and performed on the stage of the Whitley Bay Playhouse by local Geordie actors trying to get to grips with performing with an American accent, to be honest I would have preferred if they’d just performed it in their northern accent as I found the bad US accents to be the most irksome part of the evening, so much so it distracted from what was otherwise a great performance. 

From the outset of the 1st act the peachy arrival of a male stripper as one of the first characters on stage certainly set the tone for the rest of the evening’s performance, it was quite an eye opener and certainly made the mostly female audience sit up in their seats.

Now if you don’t remember the plot of The Full Monty we find our “heroes” out of work from the local factory trying to come up with ways to support their families!  After seeing the females of Buffalo paying good money to watch hot men take off their clothes, Jerry played by Ian Cairns along with Big Dave enthusiastically played by Simon Pinkney come up with a plan to do The Full Monty for one night only in front of all of the women of Buffalo, a one time performance to solve all of their money worries.

What happens next?  2 spirited hours of glorious vocals from the men who completely outshone the female cast members in the performance although Jeanette played by Katie Howes amused as the piano playing ex star slightly jaded with life and fuelled by a large amount of Gin.  All of the men’s performances were admirable, each played their part with such enthusiasm that you couldn’t help but enjoy the catchy songs and vibrant atmosphere they helped to create.

When it came down to the final song and the unveiling of these 6 imperfect but brave men’s bodies I found myself watching through my fingers for fear of the wrong kind of eyeful, thankfully some well placed bright lights helped to hide the actors dignity when that Full Monty moment happened.

For me, someone who has experienced hundreds of musicals it’s always hard to cast a critical eye over amateur performances but it’s also a great opportunity to experience something stripped back, no big costumes or showy stage sets makes you focus completely upon the words, lyrics and over all performance.  Judging by the cheers from the crowd at the end I would say that each and every person there had a great night and if you’re looking for something to do in the next couple of days I would recommend you get down there for a fun couple of hours with toe tapping numbers, big vocal performances and enthusiastic dance moves, would I recommend you go see it?  Absolutely, just try not to worry about the accents.

~ a guest blog by Mandy Charlton 




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