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Interview: Gary Lucy, Hollyoaks and Full Monty star

PUBLISHED: 13:02 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 September 2018

The Fully Monty

The Fully Monty

Archant

You’re very welcome to leave your hat on when you go to see The Everyman’s production of The Full Monty this month, but expect Gary Lucy et al to bare all

The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham is the opening venue for the final ever tour of The Full Monty this September.

The show about six out-of-work steelworkers from Sheffield with nothing to lose has taken the world by storm and is one of Britian’s most successful shows ever. Based on his hit film and adapted for the stage by Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy, this hilarious, heartfelt production is one not to miss.

Directed by Coronation Street actor and former Full Monty cast member Rupert Hill, the show’s cast is led by Gary Lucy (Hollyoaks), Andrew Dunn (Dinnerladies), Louis Emerick (Benidorm), Joe Gill (Emmerdale), Kai Owen (Torchwood) and James Redmond (Hollyoaks).

The play was written in 2013 and made its debut in Sheffield before running in the West End in 2014, going on to be nominated for Best New Comedy at the Olivier Awards. It features hit songs from artists including Donna Summer, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones.

We caught up with Gary Lucy for the big reveal...

You’re playing Gaz in the stage adaptation, Gary. What did you think of Robert Carlyle’s film portrayal, and how does yours differ?

Robert Carlyle was fantastic in the role and big shoes to fill but film is very different to theatre. I try to bring out the cheeky side of Gaz. He’s a good guy with a good heart but he makes some daft decisions which get him into hot water. But what I think we both bring to the role of Gaz is that he is a dad. And his son is the most important thing in his life.

This is the final tour of the show (first played the role on stage in 2014?). How many performances have you done now?

Too many to count! Well into the hundreds...

Joe Gill, James Redmond, Gary Lucy, Marco Butler, Kai Owen, Louis Emerick and Andrew Dunn in The Fully MontyJoe Gill, James Redmond, Gary Lucy, Marco Butler, Kai Owen, Louis Emerick and Andrew Dunn in The Fully Monty

We first got to know of you as Luke in Hollyoaks (and then The Bill, EastEnders and Footballers’ Wives). Do you enjoy television or stage work more?

I like them both but they are very different. With television you do get the chance to go again if needs be but with theatre it’s in the moment, no chance of a retake! And I get such a buzz from having a live audience and hearing their responses everynight. There’s really nothing like it.

As an Essex boy, did you find it a challenge taking on the Sheffield accent?

It was challenging but one that I hope I rose to. I gave it my best shot and I think I get away with it.

Did you feel nervous about stripping at first – or even now?

Not really. To be honest, it’s such fun, I love it!

Everyone thinks about the stripping when The Full Monty’s mentioned, but it’s actually quite a gripping storyline about the decline of industry and unemployment...

It is. It was a really tough time for so many people and to be able to tell their story and the hard journey that they took though humour is wonderful. And we do that through Simon Beaufoy’s brilliant script.

I understand there’s some clever lighting used for the big ‘reveal’ at the end...

Well let’s put it this way, we don’t want to reveal too much but it depends where you’re sitting in the theatre!

The tour continues until May 2019, taking in 24 venues. How gruelling is that going to be?

I’m sure it’ll have it’s moments but they are such a great cast so I know we’re going to have loads of laughs along the way and we’re going to some fab theatres so I’m really looking forward to it.

Once the tour’s come to an end, what plans do you have?

I’m filming Hollyoaks until rehearsals start and then I do have something in the offing for next summer, once the tour has finished… but it’s a surprise so you’ll have to watch this space!

What are you waiting for? Drop everything and book now! The Full Monty runs from September 6-15 at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham. Call 01242 572573 or visit everymantheatre.org.uk to book tickets.

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