Hands up, trousers down

The Full Monty at Manchester Opera House
The Full Monty at Manchester Opera House

Unemployment, impotence and suicide attempts are hardly the themes which would lead to something being described as “feelgood”.

However, The Full Monty stage show cleverly manages to achieve this with massive doses of humour, racy charm and hilarity.

When a film is as popular as The Full Monty, there is a risk the theatre version might not live up to expectations – but there is no danger of this with this show which had Manchester’s Opera House shaking with laughter.

If anything, the characters are even more endearing than in the film and you feel yourself laughing and crying with them as you share poignant moments as well as comedy.

Simon Beaufoy’s adaption manages to balance jokes old and new and has enough differences while staying faithful to the film’s best scenes.

Gary Lucy, of Hollyoaks and Footballer’s Wives, stars as out of work dad Gaz who recruits a group of unlikely lads to form male strip group Buns of Steel.

Lucy is wonderful as the irrepressible Gaz and his son Nathan is hilarious in his role as the long suffering youngster “managing” the group.

Martin Miller does a superb job as overweight Dave, while Bobby Schofield is a great Lomper – even if the attempted suicide scene was pretty disturbing for a few seconds.

Then there’s Horse played perfectly by former Brookside actor Louis Emerick and Guy, a terrific Rupert Hill along with Andrew Dunn, who is tremendous as the despairing out-of-work Gerald.

With moments like the fantastically funny Hot Stuff dole queue scene to the final reveal at the end where the audience gets more than an eyeful.

However, it’s all cleverly done with lighting to prevent too many blushes - this show is a riot from beginning to end.

It’s no surprise at all that it is getting standing ovations every night.

You can catch The Full Monty at Manchester Opera House where it is on until Saturday before heading on a national tour.

Aasma Day