Sheffield welcomes back The Full Monty with TV star Gary in lead role

The Full Monty at Sheffield Lyceum with Gary Lucy in the lead role of Gaz
The Full Monty at Sheffield Lyceum with Gary Lucy in the lead role of Gaz
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TV star and Essex lad Gary Lucy is playing a redundant Sheffield steelworker on stage in the city.

The actor has been working with two vocal coaches on his Sheffield accent for the show, which is on at the Lyceum where it was first seen two years ago.

He said there’s a bit of added pressure doing the accent in Sheffield but said there had been no complaints while the show has been touring the country.

Gary said of the tour: “It’s been great. Obviously it’s a great privilege to be part of what was an iconic film that has now been translated to the stage by the same award-winning writer.

“They’re a great group of lads and it’s been received fantastically by everyone. It’s been a real privilege to be part of.”

Although he is very well known as a TV actor in shows such as Hollyoaks, The Bill, EastEnders, Footballers Wives and even Dancing on Ice, The Full Monty is Gary’s stage debut.

He said: “The production company and director have supported me the whole way through. It’s been a fantastic experience.

“The live aspect is just amazing. The adrenaline rush is phenomenal.”

Of course, it’s been a debut with the added adrenaline rush of having to get his kit off and do the Full Monty…

Gary said: “It’s been interesting! I feel odd if I don’t do it now, like on Sunday nights when we’re off. I sit there with my clothes on and that feels strange!

“It’s the pay-off at the end of the play and as long as the lighting guys do their job, we should have our blushes spared.”

He said they haven’t all been rushing off to the gym, either. “We wouldn’t get away with it as we’re supposed to be steelworkers of all shapes and sizes.”

Speaking from Carlisle last week, Gary said that the tour of the show has been a big success. “They’ve been really, really great audiences and now we’re nearly on our home stretch, coming to Sheffield.”

Gary was a fan of the film and saw the show before he jumped at the chance to sign up to the touring cast.

“I saw the West End version with a different director. This one has still got the key elements of the film and the play that was seen at the Lyceum but it will be a different piece.”

The stage show was written by Simon Beaufoy, who wrote the script for the hit 1997 film. It was premiered at the Lyceum in February 2013 before going on tour and into the West End for a successful run.

Gary is the lead in a new touring cast, playing bad lad Gaz, who puts the male stripper group together because he needs the money to see his lad, Nathan.

Dinnerladies star Andrew Dunn plays Gerald, the older ballroom dancing enthusiast who has to teach the group how to dance.

Brookside and Last of the Summer wine star Louis Emerick plays Horse, whose first strip prompts the unforgettable line: “Gentlemen, the lunchbox has landed!”

The other lead actors are Rupert Hill as Guy, Martin Miller as Dave and Bobby Schofield as Lomper.

Father-of-two Gary said that one of the joys of the show for him is working with the four young actors who take turns to play his son, Nathan. “The whole thing for Gaz is the relationship with the boy. I really wanted to build on that.

“They’re my favourite parts but there are some real funny moments in there as well, of course.”

He said that he wouldn’t rule out more theatre now, even though his TV career is well established.

Most people still recognise him for Hollyoaks, said Gary.

“It still surprises me the amount of people who still go back to that. I was in it when I was 16 or 17 and left when I was 19 or 20. I’m 33 now.

“It was a memorable storyline and character that made a bit of an impression. Other people remember The Bill and Footballers’ Wives.”

On his part, Gary remembers his last trip to Sheffield well, when he was touring in Dancing on Ice.

“I stayed in the Mercure hotel and they still had the Eye ferris wheel in Sheffield then. I remember my daughter going up on it.

“I’m looking forward to coming back and we’re here for three weeks this time.”

The Full Monty is at the Lyceum until May 23. Box office: call 0114 249 6000 or go online at sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.