Coworkers’ jibs are all part of the fun of Full Monty’s casting

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Jimmy Bovaird says he knows what it’s like to be unemployed and out of luck. Photo / RNZ

By Robin Martin from RNZ

In a case of art mimicking real life – or maybe vice versa – an engineer, an electrician and a pipeline designer are part of a troupe about to hit the boards during an amateur performance of the piece. The Full Monty Theater in New Zealand.

The New Plymouth Little Theater secured the rights to the play based on the 1997 film starring Robert Carlyle and Mark Addy.

Set in Sheffield in the 1990s, The Full Monty tells the story of six unemployed steelworkers who decide to form a male striptease group to make ends meet.

Engineer Hāwera Jimmy Bovaird stars as Gaz, who needs extra money to pay child support so he can spend more time with his son.

Bovaird – whose girlfriend told him to audition – thinks he can relate to Gaz.

“Yeah, I can. I’ve been in pretty similar situations. I’ve been around heavy machinery and moving around heavy beams and steel beams a lot and stuff like that, so I really understand that.

“And I’ve been… like most jobs… I’ve been laid off in the past, so I know what it’s like to be out of work and out of luck.”

Full Monty director John Lawson said the play was the culmination of five years of work.  Photo / RNZ
Full Monty director John Lawson said the play was the culmination of five years of work. Photo / RNZ

Bovaird wasn’t too worried about removing his kit, but it had raised some eyebrows in the workshop.

“When I first told my boss about it and told him I had the lead he was absolutely thrilled and very supportive and wanted to bring all the boys with them for a job until I tell him it was The Full Monty, then he quickly changed his mind.

“I don’t think he wants to see me without my kit. It’s something he just doesn’t want to see.”

Electrician by day, Howard Rozon plays Barrington “Horse” Mitchell.

Shoulder taped because of his talent as a dancer, he says, learning to undress has been added to his resume.

“Actually, I’m okay with that. When I went to the first read and they kind of said ‘we’re going to get you off your kit’, I said ‘yeah, it’s okay’. I mean, it’s just another challenge for the show and it’s only just the little end … and I mean the ‘little end’. “

Colleagues also spoke about his extracurricular activity.

“The funny thing is, I just started a new job and there are a lot of women in what we call the hive, taking care of the office side of things, and on the very first day, one of them came up and they were like, “Oh Howard, I heard you were famous and you were doing a show about getting naked and all that.”

Alex Sheehan has a small role in the play, but it brought the real-life experience to the fore.

“So I think I’m the only real professional stripper here. And yeah it’s been a lot of fun watching the guys do it and I had to try and teach them how to do it, you know how to do it. good. Like taking clothes nicely rather than ripping them off. To do it a little flirtatious. It was pretty fun teaching them. “

She was pretty sure the men would make hearts beat faster on opening night.

Director John Lawson said directing Simon Beaufoy’s play was the culmination of five years of hard work.

“I remember just mentioning to a few people here that it would be a fantastic play without realizing at the time that the play was actually written and broadcast and performed.

“But it was only professional rights so me, Sharren Read and [Little Theatre vice president] Christine King bit down on the track while waiting for it to come out for an amateur theater and as soon as it did, Sharren was in touch. We have the rights and we are the first in New Zealand to do so. “

A devotee of the Little Theater, Sharren had a tough job to do: costume design.

She said one item was particularly tricky.

“Well maybe the thongs, because they have to be detachable, and the pants. Everything has to be taken off, so never being a frequent participant in the striptease, I had no idea how it all worked. . “

Sharren Read says the design of the thongs was particularly tricky.  Photo / RNZ
Sharren Read says the design of the thongs was particularly tricky. Photo / RNZ

YouTube provided the answers, but the thongs still took five hours to sew – each.

Unfortunately, if you want to see Sharren’s work and don’t have a ticket yet, you’re out of luck.

The Full Monty, which opens early next month, has sold an extended series of 22 shows.

In 2018, the Nelson Repertory Theater performed David Yazbek’s Broadway musical version of The Full Monty set in America.

– RNZ


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