• Carmen Marie Fabio

The Full Monty coming to HVT


PHOTO BY TOMMY FURINO

Assistant Director and actor Mary Vuorela commends the bravery of The Full Monty cast who are all ages, shapes, and sizes and, "damn, they're sexy."

When the assistant director of The Full Monty says the play is going to shake up the small town where it’s having its North American debut, you pay attention.

That’s the promise of Mary Vuorela whose own posterior may (or may not) make a cameo in the upcoming 11-day run at the Hudson Village Theatre (HVT).

“People are interested because of the nakedness,” said Vuorela. “We are drawn to seeing each other naked, not for lascivious reasons but because we all want to see the human being in each other.”

The play is based on the movie of the same name where a group of cash-strapped men in 1980s working-class Sheffield, England have been laid off from the steel industry and devise a scheme to make money. Noting the success of a recent visit by the famed Chippendales male dance troupe, the men decide to try creating their own dance number with the difference being they would remove all their clothing – hence the name, The Full Monty.

The play is directed by John Sheridan, known for writing and directing the HVT annual pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

“Hudson Players Club has been wanting to bring this to audiences for years and when they finally got it, I jumped at the chance to direct,” said director John Sheridan in a recent communiqué.

“This show is so very funny, but it also has a profound message to it – the strength of the human spirit to overcome obstacles through love, friendship and the acceptance of those around you.”

“There’s definitely nudity in this show,” said Vuorela with a laugh, “but but the question is whether or not you get to see the actual Full Monty. You won’t know until you see the show.”

Vuorela commends the cast for their bravery in jumping into the role. “These six guys are all different shapes and sizes and ages, and they’re not Chippendales, they’re all-natural men, and damn, they’re sexy.”

As per the original movie, the cast also includes a young boy (alternately played by two actors) whose father needs the money as he’s fallen behind on his child-support payments and is faced with the possibility of no longer having access to his son.

“They’re great kids,” she said. “When we found these boys, I approached their mothers and said, ‘Watch the movie before you say yes, there is swearing, nudity, and sexual references.’” Also in staying true to the original story, a dialect coach is working with the actors to hone their Northern England working-class accents.

Both the original film and the theatre adaptation – not to be confused with the American musical version – were written by Simon Beaufoy and Producer Elizabeth Harwood is especially proud of the fact that after four years of correspondence with the writer, the Hudson Players Club (HPC) is the first theatre group outside of the UK given permission to stage the play.

“The play has been performed professionally in London since it was written,” said Harwood, “so it’s quite a coup for us to get it as other companies have been trying to get the rights as well.” Harwood credits both persistence and the HPC’s proven performance track record with this feat.

“I think it’s an important play to do at this time,” said Vuorela. “It’s about our humanness, our connectedness, and that while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, sexy is what you bring to the party.”

For ticket info and actor profiles, see www.hudsonplayersclub.ca/the-full-monty/

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