Reviewed by David Smith
The Full Monty hasn’t translated particularly successfully to the American theatrical idiom. It lacks the grit and socio-political point of the original. That, and some of the lighter comedy, make it a challenge to produce here.
That having been said, this production, directed by the broadly experienced Max Raynor, made a good fist of the material at hand, and at its best, was very good indeed. Musical director Heather Elliot and her orchestra supported the singing with competence and style. All six main male characters did well, and were well differentiated. Their ensemble work was strong across the scope of acting, singing and dancing and they adeptly built up the expectation leading to the sensational ending.
Rohan Watts as Jerry and Kim Clark as Dave convincingly led the group. Their successful interaction is central to the whole piece. They established that early, and enhanced it as the play progressed. Njal Venning was convincing as Harold, the former manager grappling with the shame of his come-down, Macdonald Machingura was thoughtful and entertaining as Horse, James Reed provided a sensitive and nuanced Malcolm and Timothy Mackie also impressed as the youthful Ethan.
Jenny Scarce-Tolley provided strength as Dave's wife Georgie and Emma Bennett was a strident and suitably unforgiving Pam, Jerry's wife.
Max Rayner and John Dempsey's set was simple and functional, providing an appropriately austere backdrop to much of the action.
The whole production had a pleasing fluency and the company did well to convey the main issues confronting a community when the major employer closes shop.