Skip to main content

The Full Monty

Edinburgh Festival Theatre
4 stars
When it comes, the climax of Simon Beaufoy's stage adaptation of his 1997 film about a group of unemployed Sheffield steel-workers who find emancipation by becoming strippers is as hen night-tastic as you expect it to be. The wolf whistles began some two and a half hours earlier, from the moment Kenny Doughty stepped onstage as Gaz, the laddish everyman who breaks into the deserted factory where he and his mate Dave used to work to nick girders to flog for scrap. Also left behind is a blue crane named Margaret, after the woman who effectively put a nation of heavy industry workers on the dole.

Meanwhile, sisters are doing it for themselves watching The Chippendales, which inspires Gaz to enlist a troupe of his own to make a few bob. What Gaz, Dave and their motley crew of ne'er do wells actually achieve isn't just a rediscovery of their own personal mojos, but a reawakening of a collective spirit through the power of dance, brilliantly choreographed here by Frantic Assembly's Steven Hoggett.

On one level, Daniel Evans' high-spirited production is as one-dimensional as a piece of John Godber populism, and one wishes some of the cast would stop trying so hard to be funny, but beyond this there is pathos and politics too. Here are men whose very identity has been crushed, and who have become emasculated to breaking point, but who find the sort of solidarity that's so desperately needed again today. Ultimately, it's the money shot that counts here, but this is a brash fanfare for the common man that's deep as well as macho.

The Herald, March 28th 2013

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Honourable K.W. Harman: Ltd Ink Corporation

31 Bath Road, Leith Docks, March 17th-20th

In a monumental shipping container down by Leith Docks, a Sex Pistols tribute band is playing Anarchy in the U.K.. on a stage set up in the middle of the room. Either side, various constructions have been built in such a way so viewers can window shop as they promenade from one end of the room to the next, with the holy grail of a bar at either end.

Inbetween, there’s a confession booth and a mock-up of a private detective’s office with assorted documentation of real-life surveillance pinned to the walls. Two people seem to be having a conversation in public as if they're on a chat show. An assault course of smashed windows are perched on the floor like collateral damage of post-chucking out time target practice. A display of distinctively lettered signs originally created by a homeless man in search of a bed for the night are clumped together on placards that seem to be marking out territory or else finding comfort in being together. Opp…

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Scot:Lands 2017

Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Four stars

A sense of place is everything in Scot:Lands. Half the experience of Edinburgh's Hogmanay's now annual tour of the country's diverse array of cultures seen over nine bespoke stages in one global village is the physical journey itself. Scot:Lands too is about how that sense of place interacts with the people who are inspired inspired by that place.

So it was in Nether:Land, where you could see the day in at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with a mixed bag of traditional storytellers and contemporary performance poets such as Jenny Lindsay. The queues beside the Centre's cafe were further enlivened by the gentlest of ceilidhs was ushered in by Mairi Campbell and her band.

For Wig:Land, the grandiloquence of the little seen Signet Library in Parliament Square was transformed into a mini version of the Wigtown Book Festival. While upstairs provided a pop-up performance space where writers including Jessica Fox and Debi Gliori read eithe…