Brighton boys do The Full Monty

montyjamieBrighton bobby Jamie Collins will be baring all on-stage at the Theatre Royal this week in The Full Monty, with his boss looking on from the royal box.

 

Jamie, who is based at Brighton police station, plays the lead character, Jerry Lukowski, in the Brighton Theatre Group’s production of the all-singing, all-dancing Broadway version of the 1997 hit British film.  As a policeman, he initially had a few concerns about the effect his indecent exposure might have on his career.

 

Jamie said: “I was really worried about it to begin with. When I was first offered the part I had to square it with my supervisors, but it’s not as though I’m taking my policeman’s uniform off in a pub on a Friday night and degrading the police force.  It’s theatre.

 

“All the guys at work have done since they found out about it is rib me.  They keep asking whether I’m really taking my kit off.”

 

Jamie is expecting about 80 of his colleagues, including his Chief Constable, to come along on Saturday night, so they can find out for themselves.

 

The show tells the story of six unemployed steel workers from Buffalo with varying financial and personal reasons to turn to stripping.  They each have issues and hang-ups to overcome along the way but, as Director Michael Burnie points out, there was no room for any such bashfulness from the cast.

 

“We needed to know we had a group of boys together that would do it.  The last thing we wanted was someone backing out at the last minute,” he said.  “Upfront, at the auditions, we were really clear that they have to do the naked scene at the end and they have to do it for real, but they’re all very comfortable with it.”

 

For some of the actors, it is more nerve-wracking than for others.  Micklos Richardson-Hodge, who plays Noah ‘Horse’ Simmons, has never performed in a show before. 

 

The group were struggling to cast the character – an aging black man with a flair for dancing – when the director spotted Micklos, whose look was right for the part, working as a security guard in a department store and approached him.  As luck would have it, Micklos turned out to be a talented singer and dancer and sailed through his audition, despite almost turning away at the door.  He said he’s now very glad he went for it.

 

“I was spotted at work while patrolling the lingerie department of M&S,” Micklos said with a chuckle.  “I’ve done a bit of dancing before and I run a karaoke night, but that’s it.  I’ve never done a show before. Mind you, I love the limelight.  I’m just keeping my fingers crossed I won’t get stage fright.

 

“I’ve always wanted to do something like this, but at 44 I thought, ‘That’s it, I’m past it.’  But who knows?  Broadway here I come.”montystrippers1

The boys will be going all the way at the Theatre Royal Brighton from November 11th to 15th 2008.  Tickets are available from the box office, tel: 08700 606 650.

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