well, my waning respect for Viennese theatre is slowly restoring itself. Ladies Night – better known as the movie The Full Monty – is indeed incredibly funny, for once the translation into a mild Viennese dialect didn’t kill the jokes and the actors were clearly having fun with their parts – in a lovable, self depricating way that made them very sweet and hilarious. The play Ladies Night is from New Zealand writer Stephen Sinclair and pal Anthony McCarten, also NZ, who made it into the biggest success NZ’s theatre had ever had. And it is truly understandable why that is.
The story: Three mates, all without jobs since the mines closed, have no outlook on life other than being criminals or forever in debt. When their wives go to see the Chippendales, their fearless leader Craig (Alexander Pschill of Kommissar Rex fame) plans on just such an endeavour – even though neither he nor his pals are even remotely built like one of the Chippendales. But: They will bare it all… and thus of course be a success and cash in on all the money they get.
And even though the odds are against them, they get together, find their motivation, fight their depression and … do it!
So first we have Craig with a plan for everything, just not for getting back visiting rights to his young son. We have Norman, who even after a whole year hasn’t told his wife that he got sacked, and Graham, who ignores the fact that his wife already has another lover. Add to this mix Gavin, the flamboyant tree hugger who is on a quest to find himself, gifted with a huuuge … and finally Wesely who is the only real dancer of the group and what you get is hilarity and fun and lots of laughs (not for everyone though. The stuffy audience of Kammerspiele wasn’t that enthusiastic – two at least left during intermission. how ridiculous is that??)
When they first casually take off their clothes – if you can’t do it in front of each other in the rehearsal room how will you manage it in front of 400 women, after all – their knickers alone are a hoot and chosen so that everyone can have a good laugh. Then they get their tiny tiny stripper “fig leaves” and Gavin (not Kevin, with a G! ) looks at it and says – that won’t fit.
All five men grow up and mature and face their problems head on during the course of their rehearsals of their shared project, but it is Gavin who comes furthest. Not only does he lose his till then sole reference to life when his mother dies, he also admits to being gay and hopelessly in love with straight Wesely, who loves him back, just not that way. The way the guys deal with the news goes from cringeworthy to awkward to accepting and normal in the span of a couple of minutes, till it’s not interesting any longer as there are more important things to consider. This almost casual acceptance (admittedly after a couple of half told gay jokes) is actually quite refreshing as it shows that there is more to everybody than their sexual orientation…
So now I have a huge respect for Pschill, who is a firecracker on stage and not that tall at all! (and oh so much better than on TV, but I know, TV pays the bills,…) and for everyone else who took to the stage and made us all laugh and cry out and laugh again. The play itself stops after the boys’ line up does the “Full Monty” – so it’s not explained if the gang of troupers actually accomplished anything with their daring performance. But I admit I never had hoped more fervently that they did, they so deserved it!
take a look at this to check out the boys… (click on Szenenfotos)