There’s a lot riding on Scott Anson’s first straight acting role which has taken him back to Britain’s theatre capital, writes Gay Bolton.
He’s the only Sheffielder performing in The Full Monty which hits London’s West End this week.
The stage version of the hit film was created by Sheffield Theatres last year in an adaptation written by the film’s scriptwriter Simon Beaufoy. It had a successful run at the Lyceum before going on tour.
“I was born and raised in Sheffield and am proud to be the only Sheffielder in the cast,” said Scott. “A lot of the actors are from Yorkshire, like Barnsley and Leeds.”
“It is really nice to be going back to the West End. I played the lead role of Chris in Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane from 1997 to 2000. I am equally excited to be in The Full Monty in London as I was when it was in Sheffield.”
Scott, 40, was part of the original cast which premiered The Full Monty play in the Steel City and took it on tour last year. “It was brilliant to be part of it in Sheffield,” he said.
“There was lots of fun stuff while we were there. It is quite tricky costume wise. Certain characters were putting the wrong costumes on at the wrong time. One of them forgot to put his thong on and when he pulled his trousers off in the stripping scene, he had to get his hands down there very quickly!”
Scott added: “I love The Full Monty – it is fun. It is a real Sheffield story of how folk deal with trials and tribulations through humour.”
The play toured the country until May last year then took a break pending the availability of a West End theatre.
Its actors got back in the swing by airing The Full Monty in Cardiff and Bath, leading up to its London opening at the Noel Coward Theatre today.
“On tour the play has changed so much,” said Scott. “We have toned down the regional accents and have worked hard on the dialect so that the London audiences can understand what we are saying.
“Performing The Full Monty to Sheffield audiences is so easy because you can get away with a lot more.
“In the West End it is a lot more serious because the audiences want to see a play.”
Scott, 40, plays five roles in The Full Monty. He is also understudy to its three lead characters, Gaz, Lomper and Guy, but so far has not been called on to step into a major role or strip-off.
The Full Monty is playing in London until June and goes back on tour in September.
Dad-of-two Scott, who lives in Clowne, added: “I don’t know whether I am going to be doing the tour.”