Alex Toohey has played some iconic musical theatre roles in his time but he says that few have given him such a buzz as his lead role in The Full Monty.
Alex plays Jerry, an unemployed steelworker and single father who is fighting for custody of his son, in the Two Feathers production.
The show, directed by David Artus, opens at the Gaiety Theatre with two performances on Saturday (July 15) and continues until Saturday next week (July 22).
Alex said: ‘The rehearsals have been non-stop hilarity - even now, after months of rehearsing, we’re still laughing at certain scenes and songs.’
Alex is joined by Ben Heath who plays the lovable, body-conscious Dave, Jerry’s best friend.
And they appear alongside Alex Maxwell as the awkward, feeble, and depressed Malcolm, David Cowley as lonely-soul Ethan, Nigel Thijs as doting husband Harold, and the renowned David Castro as mill retiree ‘Horse’.
Joining the Monty Six is musical powerhouse Sue Tummon as down-to-earth Georgie (Dave’s wife), along with Jo Dickinson as the charming and flamboyant Vikki (Harold’s wife), Rachael Braidwood as Jerry’s estranged wife Pam, and Sonia Callin as showbiz sensation Jeanette.
There’s also some relatively new faces to the Gaiety stage including professional fitness guru Gianni Fabrizio in his stage debut as stripper Buddy ‘Keno’ Walsh, as well as 13-year-old upcoming talent Thomas McAleer as Jerry’s stoic, sincere, and loveable son.
The original film, from 1997 was a BAFTA winner and the musical comedy adaptation was a 10-time Tony Award nominee.
Alex said: ‘The characters are very real people, the kind you’d meet on the street, with whom most will be able to identify, in one way or another. And that’s what really sells it.’
He added: ‘The characters are both well-rounded and fun to be around - their sometimes biting banter masks a real camaraderie.
‘Male friendship is one of the major themes, as well as body positivity, masculinity and self-consciousness.’
The story sees the Monty Six come up with the idea of stripping off as a way of making some money after seeing their wives watching male strippers on a girls’ night out.
‘Despite the inherent sexualised nature of its subject matter, its humour doesn’t come from crudity, but rather from the good-natured relationship between its core cast,’ Alex said.
Tickets are available online at villagaiety.com/fullmonty or by calling the box office on 600555.
The production is sponsored by Zedra.