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11:56am Friday 25th May 2012 in Leisure
T he 1997 film of The Full Monty became one of the biggest grossing films of the ‘90’s at the box office and the recent stage production by BrassNeck Theatre Group can also be considered a smash box office hit as the show was totally sold out for its recent week’s run at Yeadon Town Hall.
BrassNeck Theatre Group has gathered one of the strongest casts ever to perform the show, which has had its location moved from Sheffield to Buffalo in upstate New York. This city had a similar fate to Sheffield with the closure of its steel mills and high unemployment.
The musical has a catchy pop score and among the differences between the show and the film is that the homophobia of one of the leading characters has now been emphasised and a gay relationship that was merely hinted at in the movie has now been made more explicit. The women, who were just supporting roles in the film, become more prominent in the stage production and have some strong scenes. One character brought into the stage production is Jeanette, the ageless rehearsal pianist whereas in the film the dancing was done to a cassette player. I thought Julie Kettlewell played this part to perfection.
However, this is a show that gives every member of the company, and there are twenty four in all, a chance to shine. Every single person has a funny one-liner, an attempted strip, a cameo performance or a humorous walk on to perform. Even before the show started, there are several of the female cast intermingling with the audience, which I thought was a very nice touch!
The music by David Yasbek takes a little getting used to at first but soon grows on you and there are some quite catchy numbers as the musical progresses.
I felt that the orchestra, under the direction of Tom Kyle, performed extremely well but were on some occasions a bit too loud which meant that the performers’ sound under the direction of Oliver Trenouth had to be notched up a little too much and as a consequence some of the words were lost.