Teaching the art of striptease
A professional nightclub dancer and drag performer has been engaged to teach The
Full Monty male cast the finer points of striptease.
Abbey Musical Theatre (AMT) wants their August production to be as authentic as possible so have engaged Blair Macbeth to choreograph their hilarious comedy at Wallace Development Company Theatre (The Auditorium) from August 10 to 26.
Blair has an impressive background in dance and choreography including 12 years as a professional drag performer in some of Melbourne’s exclusive night clubs. His specialty was his one-woman show as Spanky Jackzon.
‘‘I loved the life and had multiple residencies at five or six night clubs,’’ Blair says. ‘‘It’s always been my dream to be a professional dancer.’’ During his career Blair hasn’t limited himself to only nightclub acts. He entered The X Factor as a contestant singing Robin Thicke’s When I Get You Alone and reached round three at boot camp.
As a contrast Blair loves working with children and, while he was Spanky Jackzon at night, he provided youngsters with educational opportunities at Melbourne’s Museum and Sealife Acquarium during the day.
When he returned home for family reasons, Blair was appointed second-incharge of the Chill Out programme at the Lido Aquatic Centre.
But dance and choreography has always been his passion. Before he left for Melbourne via Wellington, Blair danced, sang and acted in ‘‘nearly a hundred shows for AMT, Manawatu Theatre Society and Feilding Little Theatre.’’ He also learned ballet, jazz and hip hop from Dean McKerras and Michelle Robinson.
Those experiences gave Blair ‘‘a lot of theatrical tools about how shows really work from creation to completion. Those tools have stayed with me all my life in what I do.’’
When he returned home, Blair took a break from performance but now he’s back with many original ideas that will benefit The Full Monty. ‘‘This year is the right time and The Fully Monty is the right show.’’ The Full Monty tells the tale of six men, made redundant when the steel mill closes and desperate to take on something else. That something is to take off their clothes in front of a paid audience. They’re out of work, supported by family and know the only available employment is what they create themselves.
‘‘I’m teaching them the art of striptease with great panache and style,’’ Blair says. ‘‘They’re responding well in something they’ve never done before. I’m impressed with how they’re working on it themselves which is a true sign of commitment.’’
Blair says The Full Monty is a real soul warmer on a winter’s night and the audience will have warm fuzzies throughout the show and as they leave.
Palmerston North, are you ready for this? About to demonstrate the "full monty" are - Hayden Giles, Ben Pryor, Hunter Higginson, Samuel Gordon, NickRoss and Karl Stewart.