AS someone who grew up in Sheffield in the 1980s when the city’s steel industry decline began, Scott Anson has special reason to enjoy being part of The Full Monty.
He has multiple roles in the stage adaptation of the hit film about unemployed former steel workers who decide to form a male striptease act which is being premiered at the Lyceum Theatre and then touring the UK.
“I’m playing several characters, but covering for three of the stripping boys, “ says the actor who grew up in Handsworth. “So, if called on, I’ll get my kit off, the Full Monty, the works, everything.”
Anson first stepped on to the Sheffield stage way back in 1987. “I was a member of the Crucible Youth Theatre and during this time we took part in a Main House production, It’s A Bit Cold Outside, about Sheffield in the Blitz. It was during the time of Clare Venables and was one of the first things Stephen Daldry was involved in.
“My mum was a club singer, Lynne Gillette, so performing was something that I saw plenty of close hand growing up,” he says. “I wanted to be an actor from an early stage and went off to drama school.”
That was the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London. “The first job I had after graduating was playing a baddie on The Bill – and the director was Peter Cattaneo who went on to direct The Full Monty, so there’s a connection.” It was however before one of his fellow actors in The Full Monty, Simon Rouse, began his stint as Superintendent Jack Meadows in the series.
After a few years working in fringe theatre in London, Anson was spotted by the musical director of Miss Saigon then running at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and invited to audition for the male lead, American GI Chris.
“That was my big break and I was in Miss Saigon in the West End for two years and then I went on tour with it to Hong Kong, Singapore and Manila,” he says. Other roles in musical theatre followed including Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar and the Narrator in Blood Brothers which brought him on tour to the Lyceum severak times.
About 10 years ago he moved back to his home town and has performed as a singer on the club circuit and picked up acting assignments including a part in the movie Last Chance Harvey starring Dustin Hoffman and several television commercials.
More recently he has collaborated with songwriter and producer Eliot Kennedy which included recording an album, Angels of My Better Nature, at the Steelworks Studios.
“I moved back up here with my wife to enjoy a better family life,” he explains. “We now have two boys aged 10 and six so they’re at an age where it is easier for me to go on tour.
“It may be a bit different if we go into the West End but we’ll just have to see. For the time being while we’re in Sheffield I’m the only one in the cast who is at home.”
The Full Monty runs at the Lyceum Theatre until February 23.