Full Monty actors promise more than striptease

Cast members of the Charlottetown Festival's new production of the musical The Full Monty on Wednesday are promising more than just a striptease.
Cast members rehearse the Charlottetown Festival's production of The Full Monty on Wednesday. (CBC)

Cast members of the Charlottetown Festival's new production of the musical The Full Monty on Wednesday are promising more than just a striptease.

"If you want to come just to see a little flesh, then come on down," said Eugene Clark, who plays a character named Horse.

"You will be overjoyed, thrilled, on your feet, laughing, crying, joyous and say, 'You know what? I know somebody like that.'"

Clark plays one of six unemployed men who decide to perform a male striptease in order to gather money.

"They are kind of at a crossroads in all their lives," said Matthew Campbell, who plays Jerry Lukowski.

"They can either give up and throw in the towel or find a way to keep on going."

Marlane O'Brien, who plays Jeanette Burmeister, said it's a theme Islanders can relate to.

"We've had terrible times in certain industries on the Island — the kind of necessity that makes people get clever and creative," she said.

The play — which has played on Broadway and London's West End — is based on a 1997 British film by the same name. While the content may be more risqué than Charlottetown Festival's usual fare, most of the actors said they've gotten used to taking off their clothes during rehearsals.

"It's easy for me to say now because I haven't done it in front of a thousand people," Campbell said laughing.

"Ask me again on Thursday morning, I suppose."

While the actors will reveal all in the production, strategic lighting will prevent the audience from getting a full-frontal view.

"By the time you get to the end of this show, you are so rooting for these guys that when they say, 'OK guys, you only live once. Let's go for it,' you think, 'Yes, good for you!'" said O'Brien.

The Full Monty has three preview shows on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The official opening is June 18 at the Homburg Theatre in Charlottetown.