Full Monty boys set to reveal stage skills in revival

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They were not even born when the story was famously first told on the big screen, but yesterday four boys aged between 10 and 13 were unveiled as the stars of a new play based on one of the world’s favourite Yorkshire films.

In 1997, Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson and the rest of the cast of The Full Monty were basking in the Sheffield-based movie’s huge success, and 15 years on it is hoped a new production will spark a major revival.

From left: Jay Olpin, Travis Caddy, Ewan Revill, and Jack  Hillington.

From left: Jay Olpin, Travis Caddy, Ewan Revill, and Jack Hillington.

Each of the four boys will share the role of Nathan, the son of the main protagonist Gaz, both on stage at The Lyceum in Sheffield, where the production is being premiered, and on a 11-date nationwide tour next year.

Teenagers Travis Caddy, both 13, Jack Hollington, 11, and 10-year-old Ewan Revill landed the coveted role after attending open auditions in Sheffield earlier this year alongside hundreds of other hopefuls.

Sheffield Theatres’ artistic director Daniel Evans said he has been “eager” to bring the story of out of work steelworkers turned strippers back to the public since his appointment in the city.

And he said the new production would give the young actors a fantastic taste of fame, despite the fact that they were unable to remember the reaction to the film when it first came out at the cinema.

He added: “This is an amazing opportunity for those young actors wanting professional stage experience to work in one of the country’s most exciting theatre complexes, and travel with the production across the UK as part of a nationwide tour.

“We knew from previous experience that there are some extraordinary young performers in Yorkshire and the surrounding counties and I’m thrilled that we are able to offer this opportunity to those actors.”

Once the open auditions, which were hosted by associate director and former EastEnders star Jack Ryder, were over in September, the boys picked were invited back to the theatre in October.

They went through parts of the text of the play with Mr Evans and casting director Sarah Bird.

Three of the boys picked to take on the role are from Sheffield, while one, Jack Hollington, is from Merseyside, and has the most professional experience on stage.

Ewan Revill, who will turn 11 on New Year’s Eve, is from Burncross, Sheffield, and is part of a local children’s drama group called Pied Piper.

He said he had been in shows staged by amateur societies based in the city including Carousel, The Sound of Music and Showstoppers but was looking forward to The Full Monty because it would be his first professional performance.

Jay Olpin lives in the Millhouses area of Sheffield, goes to the city’s Silverdale School and has already been in several productions staged by Sheffield Theatres.

They include an Enemy of the People at the Crucible, which starred Antony Sher, The King and I at Sheffield’s Lyceum and roles in the juvenile ensemble for two pantomimes, Cinderella and Aladdin.

He has also appeared in two productions staged by the English Youth Ballet, the Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty.

The final boy, Travis Caddy, from the Ranmoor area of Sheffield will also be taking to the professional stage for the first time in The Full Monty.

Travis is a pupil at Sheffield’s Birkdale School and has been attending a local stage school called Dramascene for six years.

Each boy has been contracted to do a certain number of performances with the company to ensure that their role does not interfere with their school work.

A Sheffield Theatres spokesman said yesterday that by winning the role the boys had ensured they would be taking part in a “highlight of the theatre calendar during 2013”.

The production had been adapted for the stage by Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy, originally from Keighley, who wrote the screenplay for the original film.

The spokesman added: “The show will feature songs from the film by Donna Summer, Rod Stewart, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones and will rediscover the magic of the story of six Sheffield steelworkers with nothing left to lose.”

The production is being presented by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers, the multi-award winning producers of Art, Brief Encounter, God of Carnage and also Calendar Girls, which was set in the Yorkshire Dales.

The Full Monty will first appear on the Lyceum stage on Saturday February 2 and will run until Saturday February 23

Tickets cost between £11 and £30 and are available from the Sheffield Theatres Box Office on 0114 249 6000 or on the theatres’ website at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.