The Full Monty

Mayfair Theatre, 100 King Edward Street, Kensington, Dunedin

30/10/2008 - 15/11/2008

Production Details

The Broadway musical adaptation of the award winning film THE FULL MONTY comes to the Westpac Mayfair Theatre, Dunedin.

Opening October 30th 2008 for a limited season only.

Celebrating the renewal of self-esteem, The Full Monty follows a group of men made redundant by the closing of the local steel mill and leads us through a colourful journey that celebrates triumph over adversity, in the most heart warming way.

A contemporary musical with modern punchy music is enhanced by sharp and witty lyrics that expose more of the inner-self from both sexes.

Chris Fennessy, Managing Director of Epiphany Productions is proud to be returning home to produce this wonderfully entertaining and heartfelt musical.

"I can guarantee we’ll send audiences away with a huge smile and knowing they’ve been thoroughly entertained…and who knows, maybe the antics of the boys on stage will spur on a new wave of heightened home entertainment"! (Tongue in cheek of course)

The Full Monty musical has been heavily promoted all over the world and a major selling point has been the promise of on-stage nudity. When asked about whether audiences actually get to see full frontal nudity? Chris Fennessy simply replied "Well, you’ll have to buy a ticket to see, but hey…it’s not called The Half Monty now, is it!"

Not recommended for children under 15 years, nudity on stage.

When: 30th Oct 2008 – 15th Nov 2008
Where: Mayfair Theatre
Price: $34.50 – $49.50

Reg - Alistair Martyn
Ethan - Andrew Morris
Joanie - Bridget Telfer
Vicki - Charlotte Carman
Nathan - Daniel Hawley
Horse - Eddie Muliaumaseali'i  
Molly/Jeanette - Gladys Hope
Jerry - Greg McLeod
Pam - Harriet Moir
Susan - Jane Craigie
Malcolm - John Gardner
Georgie - Kelly Olsen
Estelle - Melinda Joe
Dave - Nick Hughes

Harold - Peter Hocking
Minister - Barry Kloogh
Repo Man/various - Digby Robinson
Policeman/various - Michael Carruthers
Buddy (Keno) Walsh - Cameron Taylor

Set Design - Stephen Robertson
Set Construction - Neale Smith
Lighting Design - Grant Robertson - Light Site Christchurch
Sound Design - Gordon Duff - Strawberry Sound
Photography - Melanie Peters - Melt Studios

Perfectly pitched at the staff Christmas party

Review by Terry MacTavish 07th Nov 2008

This engagingly cheery show is the Broadway musical version of the hit British film, which in its turn bore a strong resemblance to NZ’s own Ladies’ Night. The plot, true to an age-old winning formula, is straightforward: six desperate out-of-work blokes, each with his own personal sob story, band together and succeed against the odds in transforming themselves into strippers.

The Chippendales, their professional competition, stop short of ‘the full monty’, and the only way our boys can make their act a financial success is to go one sparkly red G-string further. The play ends of course with their grand performance. Will they have the guts, or some other body parts, to do the full monty?

The opportunities for terrible jokes and humorously bad dancing are plentiful, and this ebullient production seizes them all. Producer Chris Fennessy, himself an established star of musical theatre, has assembled a brave and dedicated crew, headed by director and choreographer Stephen Robertson, and musical director Steve Miles. The opening night audience of more than 300 excited patrons were alert for every double entendre and warmly appreciative of every attempt at disrobing. The miked sound was overly harsh in the big numbers, but that will doubtless be sorted out as the season progresses.

The Mayfair is a lovely setting for musicals, with a pit for the experienced orchestra, and an auditorium that succeeds in feeling spacious yet intimate, with excellent flow from the stage. This flexibility allows the cast to invade the auditorium, engendering a real party atmosphere. The climactic final scene is genuinely exciting, with the girls out encouraging the strippers and whipping the audience to a frenzy. 

Despite their scruffy ineptitude, the characters are more likeable than sleazy, and their problems of unemployment, rocky marriages, and struggles with child maintenance are all too familiar. Throw in a good deal more singing and dancing, and the show has a warm cosiness rather than the grittiness of the original British film.

The first number, Scrap, as the men are handed their redundancy notices, is certainly angry, but the gloom is quickly dissipated by a change of scene to a grossly realistic men’s toilet in a night-club.  Four brassy females invade it to sing, It’s a Woman’s World, one doing an amazing stand-up pee at the urinal, while the husbands, hiding in the stalls, pop up and down like characters in a Restoration comedy.

Even the aborted suicide scene, which involves an actual yellow Mini onstage, is played as hilarious, with the ‘rescuers’ assuring their hapless friend that as good mates they will help him top himself more efficiently.  

Greg MacLeod and Daniel Hawley establish a touching father/son relationship, and a tentative gay love-story is handled with a subtlety that could be interpreted as coy, but it is as burgeoning strippers that the guys give it their all, with a particularly stunning turn from operatic bass Eddie Muliaumaseali’i in Big Black Man. They are well supported by their ladies, especially Charlotte McKay as Vicki, with strident Bronx accent. Veteran Gladys Hope has a ball as their kooky pianist, flaunting it in pink and purple feathers.

"I want to understand, How I got to be a loser, When I used to be a man", run the opening lyrics. So, does taking off their clothes make them feel more like men and win them back their self-respect? All will be revealed (truly) in this high-energy show perfectly pitched at the staff Christmas party. 
For more production details, click on the title at the top of this review. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


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