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A little background about me: I’m London born and am afraid to say that before now, I had never seen The Full Monty. I didn’t have a clue what the play was about and many people told me that I was in for a surprise, but I think “surprise” was quite the understatement. With that in mind, our editor thought it would make quite the story!

As I walked into the Mayflower Theatre, I noticed the audience consisted of women of all ages. This made me a little suspicious for what I had let myself in for. I quickly got the feeling that this play was going to appeal to the ladies in the room.

As the main character got on stage, there were wolf whistles and cheers. Bewildered by the wolf whistles, I assumed that the actor was just an attractive man and the cheering was just because the show had started. This seemed like a sensible and rational solution.

As the play went on Gary Lucy, Martin Miller and Fraser Kelly brought some fantastic performances to the stage. The actors must be very good friends off stage and this was reflected in how well they worked together, creating quite the friendly atmosphere for the audience.

Gary_Lucy_Back_Pants_sml

The set was impressive, flowing alongside the story well and set changes happening with ease. The actors were good but, with me being a London lad, the Northern slang was sometimes hard to understand. Luckily, I was with a friend from Sheffield who could translate.

So once again I’ll remind you, I didn’t know what to expect. So when the main character shared their idea of forming their own strip group, the penny dropped. I was watching a play about strippers.

Martin Miller solo

All of sudden, it hit me why the writers of OntheScene were laughing when they discovered I was a The Full Monty virgin.

“You’re in for a surprise!”

I heard as I left the room that day.

Just before the interval, we got our first sight of some arse cheeks as the characters rehearsed their routine. I particularly enjoyed the joke about the offside rule to help teach the group to get in a straight line.

After the short interval it was show time. The pace picked up and so did the stripping, but here’s where things got interesting: when I thought I was about to endure a show very much like the film Magic Mike, I was once again surprised that this play had a lot more to offer than just male stripping. The show addressed issues that were wide spread in Sheffield in the 1980s, such as unemployment, childcare, friendship and homophobia.

It ended with a big performance and the men giving the women exactly what they had come for. The screams bellowed from the crowd and the wolf whistles started up again – the crowd got their finale and I had one hell of a shock but also quite the giggle!

As a London lad, my experience of the theatre has been of musicals in the West End, so this was a very different experience but one that I enjoyed. I’d like to see more theatre and who knows I might even watch the film!

Well done Oscar winning Simon Beaufoy! You’ve just got me into theatre.

The Full Monty runs until Saturday 7th November 2015. To buy tickets, visit http://www.mayflower.org.uk or call the Box Office on 02380 711811.

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