2. GEARS OFF

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Mu­si­cal The Full Monty puts it on and takes it off in the Wal­lace De­vel­op­ments Theatre from Thurs­day.

On the face of it, a light-hearted bare-it-all mu­si­cal should be the per­fect an­ti­dote to the har­row­ing 1984.

Sa­muel Gordon, who played a wired-up and tor­tured Win­ston Smith in the Palmer­ston North pro­duc­tion of the dystopian play, has moved on, tak­ing a lead role in the Abbey Mu­si­cal Theatre pro­duc­tion The Full Monty, which opens this week.

Six un­em­ployed steel­work­ers de­cide to get their gear off and strut their stuff down the cat­walk to make ends meet and earn some self re­spect.

Gordon said while his role as Jerry, the op­por­tunis­tic ring­leader of the strip­ping posse, is pos­si­bly the per­fect counter to Win­ston Smith, there are sim­i­lar­i­ties.

‘‘Both char­ac­ters are an ev­ery­man in their own way. At the end of the day, I’m still be­ing watched, not by Big Brother, but by a crowd of ex­citable women. At least this time I share their gaze with five other guys,’’ he says.

‘‘He’s 32, di­vorced, out of work and up to his balls in debt.’’

The pro­duc­tion, Gordon’s sev­enth on the trot since 2015’s endof-year Bri­tish In­va­sion, neatly book­ends a 12-year per­for­mance cy­cle for the ac­tor, who last year was part of the multi Globe Award-win­ning The Glass Menagerie.

His per­for­mance in the Ten­nessee Williams clas­sic earned him best male ac­tor ac­co­lade.

Co­in­ci­den­tally, 12 years ago in 2005, Gordon started his run in the Robert Rim­mer-directed ver­sion of the same mu­si­cal, play­ing a steel­worker called Ethan. Jesse Feyen, who played Vicky Ni­chols, the wife of one of the men, was also in that show.

This might be Gordon’s last play for a bit, as his band, Rip­ple Ef­fect, would like him back. He hasn’t al­to­gether ruled out au­di­tion­ing for the Abbey mu­si­cal Rock of Ages at the end of the year, though.

The Full Monty opens in what is now called the Wal­lace De­vel­op­ments Theatre on Cen­ten­nial Drive on Thurs­day night and runs un­til Satur­day Au­gust 26.

2

PHOTO: HAN­NAH MILLS

Sa­muel Gordon, with two of his out-of-work mates played by Hay­den Giles and Nick Ross in a scene from mu­si­cal ‘‘The Full Monty’’.

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