Full Monty comes full circle to end back home

Andrew Dunn, Joe Gill, Kai Owen,  Louis Emerick and Chris Lucy in The Full Monty
Andrew Dunn, Joe Gill, Kai Owen, Louis Emerick and Chris Lucy in The Full Monty

Sheffield Theatres’ production of The Full Monty is coming home to the Lyceum next week in what is billed as the final tour of the comedy.It has been a long haul for Gary Lucy who is on his fourth tour in the role of Gaz. 

“I have been doing it on and off since 2014 but I still love it,” he says. “And it does change with different directors, actors and staging.

Fraser Kelly, Chris Lucy and Kai Owen in The Full Monty

Fraser Kelly, Chris Lucy and Kai Owen in The Full Monty

Rupert Hill, an actor from the original cast is directing this production which also features Andrew Dunn, Louis Emerick, Joe Gill, , Kai Owen  and James Redmond . “His take has been to make it a real party.”

After that long he has inevitably grown into the part of Gaz but doesn’t feel the character has changed. “It’s the same script. It’s always been about his relationship with his boy, his ex and the others.”

That said, the show is different every night in front of different audiences. And it’s a show where audiences don’t hold back. “They are crazy here in Hull (where he is talking from) while in Cambridge they are much quieter. It can depend what night of the week it is. It can be quieter on a Wednesday and then Thursday through to Saturday it can be something else.”

As if anyone needs reminding, the show follows six redundant Sheffield steelworkers who in desperation train to became male strippers. 

Gary Lucy

Gary Lucy

Based on the 1997 hit  film the play was written by the original screenwriter, Simon Beaufoy, in 2013 premiered at the Sheffield Lyceum before touring the UK, opening in  the West End in 2014, earning a Best New Comedy nomination at the Oliviers. 

It features hit songs from artists including Donna Summer, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones and is one of those shows which have become established as a girls night out but certainly not exclusively, says the actor. 

“I think there are a lot of moments which are very relevant that men can watch and see bits of themselves or bits of their friends within it. It’s a blokes’ story really, but the women love watching it because it’s a great laugh and they can get an insight into exactly what’s going on inside our heads.

“There’s a lot of issues within the play that the characters are going through which I think are very relevant today, concerns about body image and sexuality  and mental health which is a big talking point at the moment.”

Gary Lucy’s acting career began with three years on Hollyoaks as Luke Morgan, a role which won him the Best Newcomer Award at the British Soap Awards.

He followed this with four years as DS Will Fletcher in The Bill and  three series of Footballer’s Wives and later the role of Danny Pennant in EastEnders. In the meantime he became a Dancing on Ice  champion on the ITV show.

He has since returned to his role on Hollyoaks and will be going back into the Channel 4 after the tour of The Full Monty ends. He says he also has another project in the summer which has yet to be announced.

The Full Monty was Lucy’s stage debut. So when he was first offered the role did he have reservations about getting his kit off? “Obviously I was a bit nervous back then but it gets a lot easier after four years,” he says. “I don’t think about it now and we’re all in it together and everyone knows what exactly what the show is about.”

Each of the previous tours have finished in Sheffield which he says mkes it special. But that means the man from Essex needs to have his Sheffield accent spot on. “You can only try,” he offers.

The Full Monty is at the Sheffield Lyceum for two weeks from Tuesday, May 7, to May 18.