Chester group ready to go The Full Monty


Romilly Scragg

MEN will start getting their kit off when the curtain raises on an eagerly-awaited production of The Full Monty.

Audiences are counting down the days before the brave cast from Chester’s Tip Top Productions strut their stuff at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold next week, to perform the story about a group of hard-up steelworkers turned amateur strippers.

At least one hen party has already booked in for an evening performance as cast and crew get busy making final preparations to lose their inhibitions for the show.
Director Steve Davies is thrilled with ticket sales.

“We’re really happy with the way they’re going,” he said.

“In recent years people tend to leave buying their tickets until the last minute more than they used to – perhaps they are waiting to see if the weather’s nice – but they’re going really well.”

With a capacity of about 450, some clearly aren’t leaving anything to chance.

“We know we’ve got at least one hen party coming,” said Steve. “It’s great. It’s all part of the fun.”

He said audiences were rushing to see reproductions of popular films or jukebox musicals such as Mamma Mia!, which make use of existing music.

In the case of The Full Monty, he said if people knew they were going to have a good laugh.

“They know it’s a good comedy and they’re going to leave with a smile on their face,” he said.

“And they know the story - people without a lot of money, trying to find a way to improve their situation.

It’s something we can relate to.”

Seventeen years have passed since the British film – starring Robert Carlyle – became an international smash hit. Now the Americanised musical, on which the Mold show is based, relocates the action to the steelwork town of Buffalo, New York state.

But just as in the original, six unemployed steelworkers, low on cash and prospects, decide to strip act at a local club after seeing their wives' enthusiasm for a touring company of Chippendales.

The cast of 25 from North Wales and Cheshire includes Robert Lyon, of Hawarden, who plays Malcolm.

Newcomer Luke Woolgar, 18, from Saighton, near Chester, stepped forward to save the day following an appeal for cast members in the Leader.

When none of the company felt they had quite the pizzazz required for the role, the student actor and gym enthusiast, currently preparing for A-level exams at Chester’s Queen’s Park High School, stepped into the breach.

Also performing are Cooper Randle, a recent graduate from LIPA who takes on the lead role of Jerry and Tip Top regular Jonathan Francis, as Dave.

The production kicks off next Tuesday and continues until Saturday, June 21.

Evening performances are at The Anthony Hopkins Theatre and start at 7.30pm. The Saturday matinee is at 2.30pm.

For tickets call the box office on 08453 303565 or book online at Tickets for opening night are £12.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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