When The Full Monty hit cinemas in 1997, I had just started high school and I was too young to see the Sheffield-based comedy on the big screen.
But when I got my hand on the VHS copy (I’m still old enough to remember them!) I instantly adored the working class steel workers and their mission to earn a bob or two “tekkin us clothes off” and it fast became a favourite.
The small budget movie, made on a budget of $3m, turned into a worldwide phenomenon taking $250m at the box office and now screenwriter, Simon Beaufoy has adapted his own script to the stage, which began at The Lowry Theatre, Salford.
The story follows Gaz and his steelworker pals, who have fallen on hard times under the Thatcher government. At a loose end and trying to stay afloat, the hapless father and the group of unlikely heroes turn their attention to stripping.
Most of the action takes place against an impressive backdrop of the abandoned steelworks, providing a gritty rawness much needed to set off the warm, comedic roles played so brilliantly by the cast.
Leading man, Kenny Doughty and youngster Travis Caddy have instant on-stage chemistry as the father and son duo, Gaz and Nathan and the supporting cast are just as flawless.
Roger Morlidge (Dave), Simon Rouse (Gerald), Sidney Cole (Horse), and Kieran O’Brien (Guy), bring many tears of laughter throughout the night but it is Coronation Street alumni, Craig Gazey (Lomper) who really steals the show.
However Caroline Carver’s wooden role as Mandy left much of the audience in tears of the other kind.
The Full Monty is hilarious, heartwarming and downright raunchy; a perfect antidote to a Monday school night.
The Full Monty runs at The Lowry Theatre, Salford until April 20