Music & Lyrics by David Yazbek
Directed by Chris Baldock
The Q Theatre, Queanbeyan to 23 March
Reviewed by Len Power 8 March 2019
Based on the very popular original 1997 British film of the same name, the musical version of ‘The Full Monty’ is set in Buffalo, New York. Laid off steel workers Jerry and Dave decide to form a group of male strippers and make a quick buck to get them out of the financial and personal mess they have found themselves in since their retrenchment. Not taken seriously until they announce they will go ‘The Full Monty’ – fully naked – the show details the doubts and fears of the men and their women as they prepare for the big night.
The strength of this show is in the depth of characterisations. They are dream roles for actors but their performances require an unflinching honesty grounded in reality to be believable. The actors in this production have all been perfectly cast and sing and dance very well, too.
Dave Smith as Jerry and Max Gambale as Dave, have the biggest roles in the show and give very committed and endearing performances. Both actors have strong singing voices and expert comic timing. Sarah Hull, as Jerry’s ex-wife, Pam, gives her no-nonsense character a finely nuanced performance. Emma White sings superbly and creates a highly detailed portrayal as Dave’s wife, Georgie, and Lauren Nihill is very funny as the old rehearsal pianist who has seen it all.
Callum Doherty is very real in a moving performance as Jerry’s son, Nathan. Baily Lutton gives a fine portrait of a lonely man coming out of his shell at last and Garrett Kelly is very funny and touching as an old dancer with a few moves left in him yet. Jake Fraser shines with optimism in his amusing role of a Donald O’Connor wannabee. Michael Jordan gives a nicely understated performance as the former work foreman who reluctantly joins the group of strippers and Kirrily Cornwell is very good as his wife who has no idea her husband has lost his job. The rest of the cast all give fine performances.
Musical director, Katrina Tang, has produced an excellent sound from her orchestra and the cast’s singing is of a very high standard. Jordan Kelly’s choreography nicely captures the correct style and mood of the show. The lighting design by Jacob Aquilina and Dillon Wilding’s sound design give the show a fine atmosphere and complement the abstract industrial setting by Thompson Quan-Wing. Suzan Cooper’s costumes are exactly right for the show’s characters.
Director, Chris Baldock, has produced a gritty, realistic, uncompromising and hugely enjoyable show. Judging by the audience response on opening night, ‘The Full Monty’ should be a big success for SUPA Productions.
Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast on the Artsound FM 92.7 ‘In the Foyer’ program on Mondays and Wednesdays at 3.30pm.