FOUR youngsters who have been picked to share the role of Nathan in the world première stage production of The Full Monty, which opens at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield in February, stepped into the limelight this week.
Travis Caddy from Ranmoor and Jay Olpin from Millhouses are both 13, Jack Hollington from the Manchester area is 11 and Ewan Revill from Burncross, 10, which means they weren’t even born when the hit film came out in 1997.
But they are all aware of the worldwide impact of the heart-warming comedy about a group of redundant Sheffield steelworkers who try to form a troupe of male strippers to relieve their desperation and are braced for the high profile of the first non-musical stage version adapted by the original screenwriter, Simon Beaufoy.
“Everyone knows about The Full Monty,“ says Travis. “To be part of this is amazing.”
The quartet, who were selected from almost 100 schoolboys who came to open auditions in Sheffield, will share the role at the Lyceum and at 11 tour venues across the UK, alongside Barnsley-born former Coronation Street actor Kenny Doughty as their stage dad, Gaz.
“It’s easily the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to me,“ adds Travis, a pupil at Birkdale. “I had to have four call-backs so I knew the competition was tough but I’m so happy I was chosen.”
The four youngsters will have to keep up with school work through the rehearsal period, the Lyceum run and on tour which ends in May.
The plan is for two of them to spend one week with the cast before having a week back at school when the second pair will take over. When travelling around the country a private tutor will be on hand.
“My teachers have already given me work to do at home,“ says Jack, who attends Merchant Taylors’ School in Liverpool. “And it’s only my first day of rehearsals.”
All four want to be professional actors and are fans of the movie, especially the character of Nathan.
“He’s really believable, “ says Jay from Silverdale School where the original Nathan, William Snape, went. “I like how he’s cheeky and cocky. I think I’m a bit like that in real life which may have helped me get the part. I’ve watched it a few times. I’ve been trying to get into character a bit.”
Ewan, a member of Sheffield’s Pied Piper am-dram group, is particularly excited at the prospect of performing in front of friends and family.
And so are the parents. “We can’t believe it, “ says Jay’s mother, Julie. “He’s our little star.”
Tickets are on sale now for The Full Monty which runs at the Lyceum from February 2-23.