It's been a whopping twenty years since "The Full Monty" burst on to the big screen, becoming something of a phenomenon in the process, and now the stage version, written by the film's original screenwriter , is once again touring the UK and it remains as socially timely as ever.
Ostensibly the story of a group of unemployed Sheffield steel workers in the late 80s who decide to set up their own all-male strip group - whose unique selling point is that they go "the full Monty" - the play deals with a number of issues including sexuality, fatherhood, impotence and the societal pressures faced by employees and their families when unemployment strikes: when a person's identity, their pride and purpose, is inherently entwined with their employment status the search to regain those attributes can be a difficult one especially when one's own sense of worth can be damaged or repaired depending on how others see and treat you.
Given the social relevance and poignancy of the story it is a little disconcerting that many of the (predominantly female) audience treat the play almost as if it were "The Rocky Horror Show" (or worse - a Hen party) complete with call-backs and not always appropriate cheers. But that's not to take away from the pleasure and enjoyment one feels when viewing a play which, ultimately, has to be one of hope. And we all need a bit of that.