There are some fearless men in the production of The Full Monty in Nanaimo which opens April 19 including Parksville actor Rob Atkinson.
Atkinson, who plays Harold, the steel factory’s hard-nosed boss, said there is a reason it is called The Full Monty.
“My modesty has gone out the window. These days I find myself standing on a stage with little clothes on in front of people,” he admitted.
Atkinson added that despite the nudity, it has been very tasteful and comfortable for the actors. When asked if he is dieting for his role he said he hasn’t and neither are any of the other cast members.
“The thing about the show is that the characters are real men. No one has tried to lose weight. It makes the show that more real. I should be dieting but I am not.”
He said that majority of the nudity is at the end of the show and his family will be in the audience at one of the performances.
“My whole family is coming – parents, wife, adult children, uncles, brothers, cousins, co-workers, classmates. I just tell them to look to the right at the end of the show because I’ll be standing on the left.”
Atkinson got involved with community theatre in 2007 when he performed in Bard to Broadway’s Urinetown.
He said he loves doing musicals even though they can be challenging.
“I sing and dance. It is a lot of fun. It is a real challenge to sing, dance and act all at the same time. We call it the triple threat because you have to keep it together and stay in character,” he agreed.
He said if you haven’t been to see live theatre before, the show is a great way to experience it for the first time.
“If you think musicals don’t seem real, this is the kind of show that will change your mind,” he said.
All the stars of the production think audiences will be surprised at how real the situations and issues are in the show and how close to home they will hit.
“This show’s themes and music will resonate with both men and women,” said Dean Chadwick, the Artistic Director for the show.
Jay Kell, who plays Dave, the laid off steel worker whose gigantic heart is matched only by his stomach, said even men will enjoy the show.
“The reasons for women enjoying The Full Monty are apparent, but there are many different aspects for the guys in the audience as well, including lots of man humour, sports themed segments, awesome music and a beautiful female cast.”
As opening night approaches, Xander France, who stars as Jerry, the alpha male steel worker who is in risk of losing his kid, and Erik Gow, who stars as Malcolm, the complete loser who still lives at home with his mother, acknowledge that the inhibitions their characters face about doing the Full Monty are the same ones they themselves are facing.
“To deal with our inhibitions, much like our characters, we built a brotherhood, plus we are surrounded by a very supportive cast and crew,” France said and added, “To be honest you slowly get desensitized to the idea as the rehearsals move forward.”
“At first I was apprehensive about performing naked on stage, but considering you’re told to picture everyone in the audience naked it seems only fair that I partake,” Gow admitted
The Full Monty – the musical, an adaptation of the hit British film of the same name, is expertly written by Terrence McNally.
The music of David Yazbek, performed by Schmooze Productions five-piece live band is led by Rick Becker.
The show opens April 19 and runs for 12 performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Nanaimo Centre Stage until May 12.
Due to course language and nudity The Full Monty is restricted to audience members of over 18 years.
For tickets go online to www.schmoozeproductions.com, or visit Rich 1 Beauty Salon at #1-2145 Bowen Rd for cash only sales. For more information call Schmooze Productions at 250-739-0721.