The stage version of smash hit film The Full Monty is to close just over a month after opening in the West End. The news comes shortly after the production was nominated for one of the UK’s top theatre awards.
The play about unemployed steelworkers who turn to stripping opened at the Noel Coward Theatre in London on February 25 and will stage its last performance on March 29. It had been due to run until mid-June.
One of the stars, Kenny Doughty, said he was “devastated and heartbroken” on Sunday as he revealed the news. It was nominated in the Olivier Awards’ best comedy category earlier this month.
He said: “Yesterday, on the day we had two full houses and two standing ovations. In the week our play got an Olivier nomination, we were given the shocking news that the play is being pulled.”
Simon Beaufoy adapted the work for the stage from his own Oscar-nominated film script. It proved a smash hit when it opened at the Lyceum in Sheffield, where the story is set, last year but has failed to attract the London audiences.
The full company were summoned onstage after the curtain call on Saturday night and the producers broke the news.
The biggest West End flops
The biggest West End flops
1/10 Viva Forever
Mel B, Mel C, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham at the press night of the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever, which turned out to be Viva Fo-Never when it closed on the West End in June 2013 after just six months
2/10 Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
It cost a massive £48m to make and U2 penned the music, but after main cast members were injured in rehearsal, its opening night was postponed 6 times and its director resigned, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has lost so much money it will take 12 years of sell-out shows to make an ounce of profit
3/10 Behind the Iron Mask
Behind the Iron Mask previewed on the West End in summer 2005 but was destroyed by critics and closed just 18 days after its official opening night
4/10 Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Rings opened in Covent Garden in summer 2007 but was criticised for being too long, confusing and dull, leading to a final curtain in 2008 after 492 performances
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
5/10 Thoroughly Modern Millie
Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden made her West End debut as Millie in this 1920s flop - critics described her performance as 'thoroughly charmless' and the final curtain fell after 8 months in June 2004
6/10 Desperately Seeking Susan
Blondie's Deborah Harry poses with actresses Emma Williams and Kelly Price as they promote the launch of Desperately Seeking Susan - an odd combo of Madonna's 1985 film and Blondie's music that opened in 2008 and ran for just four weeks with just 200 people watching each night
7/10 Gone With the Wind
Darius Danesh, who sung 'Baby One More Time' during his Pop Idol audition, was cast in the iconic role of Rhett Butler, the show received poor reviews, was too long at over 3.5hrs and closed in 2008 after just 79 shows
Gone With the Wind
Lionel Bart's 1965 Robin Hood musical (you know he has an arrow...twang...) opened with a nightmare first performance involving power failures, last-minute script rewrites and the musical director collapsing - unsurprisingly it closed after 43 shows and a flood of scathing reviews
9/10 Carrie the Musical
The musical adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel received a critical panning when it opened in 1988 - financial backers withdrew and it closed on Broadway after just 16 previews and 5 performances
10/10 Oscar Wilde the Musical
Written and directed by DJ Mike Read to coincide with Wilde's 150th birthday, the show opened at the Shaw Theatre in London on a Tuesday and closed on the Wednesday after the kindest review called it 'the worst musical in the world ever'
Mr Doughty said: “I am utterly devastated not only for myself but for every single soul that has given their all for this play,” before adding: “We deserved better.”
The Full Monty was previously turned into a US musical set in Buffalo which opened on Broadway in 2000, running until 2002. That year it opened in London where it ran for eight months.
It is not the only recent high profile-casualty of a film adaptation in the West End. The King’s Speech closed in May 2012 less than two months after its premiere.