Hot Stuff at the Congress Theatre

The Full Monty – Congress Theatre, 5-10th October

It might have been pouring with rain outside, but inside the Congress Theatre it was hot enough to smelt iron as a packed house raised the roof for Simon Beaufoy’s The Full Monty.  

Directed by Jack Ryder, this production has the look and feel of the film, brought to life on the stage.  With a set that is immersive and innovative, and a wardrobe that recreates the era to perfection, this play is more than just the lively and entertaining story of a group of male strippers.  

Set in Sheffield in the late Thatcher period, the story is based around the personal and emotional challenges of mass unemployment, the consequences of job loss on the men and their families, and the deep sense of disorientation and grief experienced by a generation of steelworkers whose skills were no longer required and whose industry no longer existed.  It feels timely to bring this story to the stage for the first time now; the sardonic humour resonates with the mood of today’s political climate, despite its idiosyncratic nuances.  The distance between now and then only serves to heighten the irony.

There are moments of genuinely tender emotion between characters, particularly between Gaz and his son Nathan, and the entire cast seemed to enjoy every minute with infectious enthusiasm.  The music, dancing and laughter created a buzz in the audience that piqued with the final striptease scene, and had people on their feet for the ovation wanting more. 

The first ever ‘feelgood film’ struts the stage at The Congress this week, so don’t miss out!


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