Stars to go the Full Monty on stage in Edinburgh

IN 1997, a British film about six out-of-work Sheffield steelworkers with nothing to lose (except their trousers) became one of the most successful British films ever made.

Now, the boys are back – live on stage and heading for Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre in October.

The cast will be led by Gary Lucy (Danny Pennant in EastEnders, DS Will Fletcher in The Bill, Kyle Pascoe in Footballer’s Wives, Luke Morgan in Hollyoaks, winner of Dancing on Ice) as Gaz, along with Joe Absolom (Matthew Rose in EastEnders and Al Large in Doc Martin) as Lomper, Andrew Dunn (best known as Tony in Dinnerladies and for his regular appearances playing Alastair Campbell on Bremner, Bird and Fortune) as Gerald, Louis Emerick (Mick Johnson in Brookside and PC Walsh in Last of the Summer Wine) as Horse, Chris Fountain (best known for his roles as Justin Burton in Hollyoaks and Tommy Duckworth in Coronation Street, runner-up of Dancing on Ice) as Guy and Kai Owen (best known for his portrayal of Rhys in Torchwood and recently played Pete in Hollyoaks) as Dave.

Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar-winning writer of the film, has gone all the way with this hilarious and heartfelt stage adaptation that’s getting standing ovations every night.

Beaufoy has written screenplays for 127 Hours, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen and Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but even with a mantelpiece groaning with awards he admits that it was terrifying to adapt The Full Monty.

“I felt really strongly that audiences would want to come and see a really good play so that’s how I approached it,” says Beaufoy. “It was a steep learning curve and enormously invigorating to learn a whole new craft after 16 years writing for the cinema.

“Ironically, it’s turned out the story feels perfect on stage. It’s an ensemble piece about men who are stuck and wondering what to do next.”

The UK tour of The Full Monty is directed by Jack Ryder.  His directing credits include national tours of Calendar Girls and the short film Act of Memory with Claire Skinner, Owen Teale and Anna Massey,which was officially selected for nine international festivals around the world including the Cannes Film Festival.  As an actor, Jack is probably best known as Jamie Mitchell in EastEnders, a role he played for four years.

Design is by Robert Jones, choreography by Ian West, lighting by Tim Lutkin and sound by Sarah Weltman, with casting by Marc Frankum.

The Full Monty, King’s Theatre, Leven Street, 24-29 October, 0131-529 6000, www.edtheatres.com