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September 27, 2008

The Glee Club is the real monty

Metro (Manchester, UK)

An exploration of the lives and loves of a group of Yorkshire miners in the early 1960s, you'd expect some grim northern stereotypes to surface in this production of Richard Cameron's comedy-drama. However, despite song, dance and copious amounts of male nudity, this is no Full Monty.

Directed by Library favourite Roger Haines, The Glee Club is a carefully crafted, well-paced show that doesn't shy away from the hardships of life in the mines - the dirt, the danger, the political powerlessness of the men down the pits - but refuses to wallow in them. With a cast solely made up of The Glee Club - an a cappella singing group that raised money for charity - the play's success rests in the hands of the six men involved, and thankfully those chosen balance the humour and the hardship of mining life superbly.

Philip Cox's troubled Bant and family man Scobie (John Elkington) are particularly affecting, bringing out the harsher undertones of Cameron's play without letting it descend into self-pity.

A fine way for the Library Theatre to kick off its autumn season, The Glee Club captures the mood of unrest in the early 1960s. A telling insight into male cameraderie in any era, there's plenty here to make a song and dance about.

Posted by acapnews at September 27, 2008 12:02 AM

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