2. GEARS OFF
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.
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’’.