The West End run of Sheffield Theatres’ production of The Full Monty is to close after five weeks because of disappointing ticket sales.
The play adapted from the 1997 film about redundant Sheffield steelworkers who turn to striptease, was scheduled to play at the Noel Coward Theatre until June 14, but will end on March 29.
Producers David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers issued a statement at the weekend: “It is with great sadness that this show will close despite having played to packed houses on its UK tour. Simply not enough of a West End audience shared in the excitement of this terrific production.”
However, they said a 32-week UK tour from September would go ahead.
The West End production featured the original cast from the Lyceum in Sheffield last spring and the UK tour.
Co-producers Sheffield Theatres were not part of the decision and were informed on Saturday of an impending announcement.
Chief executive Dan Bates said later: “The Full Monty has had an amazing journey: since its sell-out run in Sheffield at the beginning of last year it has gone on to tour for 12 weeks across the UK, won Best Touring Production at the UK Theatre awards and has now been nominated for an Olivier Award.
“We are disappointed that, despite glorious reviews in Sheffield and London, The Full Monty will be closing earlier than planned in the West End. However, we’re proud to have produced such an exceptional show. A huge thank you to the brilliant cast and creative team, and to the audiences who’ve enjoyed the show across the UK”
Cast member Kenny Doughty, who plays Gaz, took to his Facebook page on Sunday to say he he was “devastated and heartbroken”
“Yesterday, on the day we had two full houses and two standing ovations, in the week our play got an Olivier nomination, we were given the shocking news that the play is being pulled.
“We were summoned to a full company call on stage immediately after curtain call - you could still hear the whoops and cheers from the audience behind the curtain as the producer gave us our two weeks notice.
“We delivered night after night. The audiences loved it. We got amazing reviews. An Olivier nomination... We deserved better.”
Marie Anderson from Chesterfield has launched an online petition via www.change.org to persuade the producers, David Pugh Ltd, and the theatre owners, Delfont Mackintosh, to reconsider.