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Review: The Full Monty at the Lichfield Garrick

I’ve seen The Full Monty a few times now, so it was good to see a fresh interpretation of this memorable show.

The Full Monty cast
The Full Monty

The story of the redundant steelworkers-turned-strippers was given a more light-hearted look by Lichfield Operatic Society this week.

Production director Lynne Hill and the cast had obviously worked hard to get a creative balance between the pathos and the humour in the show – and they succeeded in spades.

The story was revealed so well that the audiences seemed to become part of the performance – the ladies particularly!

Dance routines, of course, play a big part in The Full Monty and choreographer Charlotte Middleton devised some amazing routines perfectly performed by the cast.

The Noah ‘Horse’ T Simmons’ audition dance, expertly performed by Jonathan Blake, will long live in my memory.

The ‘sexy six’ who bared all for their art were Patrick Jervis, Ben Green, James Pugh, Chris Stanley, Jonathan Blake and Ben Adams.

This superb sextet were just brilliant, portraying just the right combination of sadness and humour as their characters were revealed.

Much of the humour was based around the character of the initially shy and retiring Malcolm MacGregor, played in his own inimitable style by James Pugh. We expect lots of comedy from James in any production, but he excelled in this role, having the audience (and I suspect the cast) in stitches at times.

The show has a very big cast (too numerous to mention by name here, sorry), every one of them making their own wonderful contribution to the show.

But just must mention young Zeph Rowe, who played Nathan on Wednesday – an interesting new talent. He shared the role with Nate Wallace for some of the nights.

Musical director David Easto led a talented orchestra and Steve Rainsford’s lighting design was, as usual, ‘spot on’.

Lichfield Operatic Society has a plethora of people who perform the many and varied behind-the-scenes roles. They are all to be congratulated, helping as they do to give us all a fantastic night out.

We have to wait quite a while for the society’s next production, in February 2020, but I’m sure Monty Python’s Spamalot will be well worth waiting for.

For The Full Monty tickets, call the box office on 01543 412121 or book online at www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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