The Full Monty - reviews of 'feel-good' stage adaptation

Mar 3, 2014

Stage version of hit 90s film is bawdy, exuberant, feel-good entertainment that's impossible to dislike

What you need to know

A stage adaptation of the hit 1990s British film The Full Monty has opened at the Noel Coward Theatre, West End. The stage show is adapted by the original Academy award-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy.

The Full Monty tells the story of six unemployed Sheffield steelworkers who turn to stripping as a way to make money. Features songs by Donna Summer, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones. Runs until 14 June.

What the critics like

If ever a show had "big hit" written all over it then it is this "wonderfully entertaining and deeply touching" stage version of the successful British film The Full Monty, says Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph. Although this is a raucous comedy, bursting with wit, sauce and innuendo, it is also a work blessed with compassion.

Plays made from beloved films are so often redundant rehashes, but Simon Beaufoy's adaptation of his own screenplay, "proves to be an entertaining exception", says Dominic Maxwell in The Times. Bawdy, questioning and pacy, it's a snapshot of dole-queue deprivation, yet sends you out with a big grin.

This exuberant stage adaptation is almost a period piece now, but "each character is written and portrayed with individuality, gusto and charm", says Suzi Feay in the Financial Times. It's feel-good entertainment, impossible to dislike.

What they don't like

It is well directed and will probably make a packet but this jovial hen-party fiesta "feels like a missed opportunity", says Michael Billington in The Guardian. It could have been a chance to address the degradation of unemployment and to remind us of the ravages faced in the industrial north.

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