"falls short of high expectation"
by Debra Hall for remotegoat on 21/03/18

This is an Americanised version of The Full Monty; the redundant steelworkers in this instance are from Buffalo – New York state. Buffalo was another industrialized city that experienced the knock-on effects of global competition at the latter end of the twentieth century.

The is an exploration into the psyche of the working-class male. It’s a period piece really, a story with real heart, depth and humour.

This version has its own music score and a set of songs by American writer, composer and musician, David Yazbek. The show premiered on Broadway in 2000. The musicality is cabaret style: sassy and jazzy. The lyrics are satirical and sentimental, and where there may be a hint or two of the soulful, there is no Brit Pop element if that is the interest.

Unfortunately this SCMTC production, despite its lovely team, its mountain of loyal supporters and hard workers doing their very best, falls way short. Why? Well much is wrong, but the onstage space and behind the scenes capabilities does not present the kind of theatrical and technical enhancements that this particular show requires to make it pleasant listening and watching for the onlooker. Sutton Coldfield Town Hall is an exquisite space, but It may be that the directors and the production team have enjoyed the theatre extras that The Lichfield Garrick offers for too long. The music presentation by the live band (off stage) is excellent (as always), and impressive, but when the singing performances comes into play (which are imperfect in delivery and out of tune at times) it just grates.

A brave undertaking guys, who Full Monty it all the way - some nice little set pieces. I enjoyed 'Big Black Man' and 'Michael Jordan’s Ball'. Any kind of richness to the characterisations are missing however, though the young, Ethan Bowley is a perfect Nathan!

It was opening night so maybe a few tweaks here and there may improve things.

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