The Full Monty to close in West End after one month despite Olivier nomination
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Sunday 16 March 2014
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.
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.
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