The opening show of The Full Monty yesterday evening (Saturday) well and truly delivered.
The Two Feathers production at the Gaiety Theatre packs an emotional punch with its story of a group of unemployed steelworkers desperately trying to make some quick money to save relationships and reputations.
And it’s also hilarious - I haven’t laughed this much in a long time!
The Monty Six - played by Alex Toohey, Ben Heath, Alex Maxwell, David Cowley, Nigel Thijs and David Castro - are perfectly cast.
It wasn’t long before the audience was emotionally invested in their plight and we were behind them every step of the way.
Would Jerry (Alex Toohey) make the money he needed in time to save his relationship with his son Nathan (Thomas McAleer)?
Would body-conscious Dave (Ben Heath) be brave enough to bare all?
It’s a strong story highlighting the value of male friendships, of men at their lowest ebb and making themselves vulnerable.
And because the cast fully committed to their roles we really cared what happened to all of the characters.
There is never a dull moment and the plot moves along nicely, alternating between the reality of the men’s plight and their brilliantly awkward attempts at becoming strippers.
Stand-out moments for me included Horse’s audition - David Castro has got some serious moves - as well as the song Life With Harold, sang by Jo Dickinson as Harold’s wife.
Don’t forget Sonia Callin as showbiz sensation Jeanette though.
The whole production, from the creative sets and the live music to the lighting - and let’s face it, the lights at the end had to be timed to absolute perfection, were well thought through and brilliantly executed.
If I was wearing a hat, I’d take it off to them.
They certainly deserved their standing ovation.
What can I say? They pulled it off.
Performances continue until Saturday next week (July 22).
Tickets are available online at villagaiety.com/fullmonty or by calling the box office on 600555.
The production is sponsored by Zedra.