Adrian Pang 'Pangdemonium' The Full Monty - a review

Adrian Pang's The Full Monty poster - shot at the National Library Building level 1

Managed to watch Singapore theatrical version of the British movie, "The Full Monty". I'd have expected that Adrian Pang with his Pangdemonium! Productions a theatre company he set up last year with his wife Tracie will provide a local touch to the show. Well, I was wrong. And in a sense, I was quite disappointed.

The musical performance was very much in line to the plot of the hilarious movie. Yes, thanks to Hossan Leong & Lim Yu Beng, the theatrical version of The Full Monty is too a success in bringing a laughter or two.

Oh, and do not let me forget to mention about Andy Hockley. He's good. Very effortless in making the audience grin & smile. Heh.

The show too featured Adrian Pang's two sons (11-year-old Zachary and 10-year-old Xander) taking turns to play Jerry's son, Nathan. On last Saturday, 19/06 1500 hrs performance, it was Xander. Talented little chap, he is!

So if you're into a heartwarming comedy (and musical) and you're into supporting the talented local talents (and well, some of them are international), you may want to give this The Full Monty a chance.

The show will be till 04 July & it is held at Drama Centre Theatre (it's at the National Library Building level 3). Tickets are available thru Sistic.

Be mentally prepared, though, if you are a guy. There would be a lot (and I mean, A LOT) of girls watching the show. The atmosphere is a tad intimidating for me. Grin. To witness first hand how wild they become when the six fearless strippers really go stripping all the way in the end of the show!!

Some relevant online articles published on the subject:

ACTOR Adrian Pang is going The Full Monty. Literally.

The 44-year-old who announced last Friday that he is leaving MediaCorp at the end of March will be playing the lead role in the musical.

The 1997 movie, a hit starring Robert Carlyle and Tim Wilkinson, was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2000. The story of six unemployed men who decide to form a male striptease act 'felt so appropriate' in light of the recession, Pang said.

The stage show in June will be the first offering by Pangdemonium! Productions, a theatre company he set up last year with his wife Tracie.

Tracie, a well known theatre director who has been nominated for the Life! Theatre Awards for her work, said that besides being 'a play on our family name', the name of the company also 'reflects the type of productions we want to do: full of energy, exciting and different.'

On their debut production, Pang added: 'It's a very inspiring, uplifting feel-good show, about how a guy gets knocked down in times of trouble and strife and gets up again.'

From Straits Times, "Adrian Pang to quit MediaCorp". (18/01/10)

With a new theatre company and a new musical all lined up, former MediaCorp actor Adrian Pang is not only shedding his old image, but his clothes as well.

After leaving MediaCorp in March, the actor-comedian set up a theatre company with his wife Tracie.

For the company's first production, he has engaged familiar faces like Hossan Leong and Lim Yu-Beng in the musical version of a 1997 British comedy The Full Monty.

"When The Full Monty was suggested, we thought, six guys taking their clothes off - perfect! But it didn't take much more looking into the piece to realise that at the heart of the story of The Full Monty was a message that we identify with as working individuals - Tracie and myself," said Adrian, executive producer and actor, The Full Monty.

The Full Monty tells the story of six jobless men who decide to perform a striptease. And through the process, they not only made money but also rediscovered themselves.

Pang said: "It's all about friendship and the guys kinda coming together as a group, learning how to be together. It's (also) about their families, what their families mean to them, and the journey they take throughout the show," said Tracie Pang, executive producer and director of The Full Monty.

"The characters have a wonderful journey of learning, and it's a beautiful touching story."

Adrian Pang plays the protagonist Jerry, a divorcee who is trying to earn enough to pay for child support so that he can continue to see his son.

"There was a role of this boy who plays my son in the piece, and Tracie and I just looked at each other and thought, God, we've got to get a child actor. Having worked with children before, that's quite a scary proposition, ... (but) hang on a second, we know a couple of rascals who just might fit the bill," said Adrian.

And that's how their two sons, 11-year-old Zachary and 10-year-old Xander, got roped in to take turns to play Jerry's son, Nathan.

So, with proclamations like "who bares wins" - one wonders if the cast has been hard at work in the gym to bare impressively?

Andy Hockley, actor, The Full Monty: "No, absolutely not. In fact, I was told by Tracie not to go to the gym. Because my character has weight issues, which is one of his problems with joining the group of guys. So part of Dave's journey, which is the character I play throughout the piece, is how he comes to terms with... this (gestures to belly)."

"The director has given specific instructions for all the guys - do not go to the gym - because we're supposed to be regular guys - blue-collar workers, steel workers. We've been made redundant, lost our jobs, so the last thing on our minds is to be able to go to the gym to keep fit," said Adrian.

No gym does not mean less work - certainly not for Adrian, the man who wears many hats.

He's actor, artistic director, producer, father, husband - and he's not complaining.

Adrian said: "This is something that I've dreamed about for the last 18 years of working as an actor, to be in a position where I have that kind of creative choice, creative freedom, and it's very, very liberating.

"It's really hard work and I'm really stressed out and very exhausted at the moment, but I can't remember the last time I'm feeling so happy."

The Full Monty will be playing at the Drama Centre Theatre from June 18 to July 4.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Adrian Pang goes 'Full Monty' in his first play". (19/06/10)

Like the stars of The Full Monty, Adrian and Tracie Pang are putting everything on the line to stage this new musical adapted from the heartwarming movie. Peter Myers meets the thespian and his British director spouse.

When TOS descends on Adrian Pang and his wife Tracie, we find them fitting out their new Pangdemonium! Productions office in Joo Chiat. As we bond, phone lines are being connected and the rehearsal stage is still bare. Soon they’ll be jammed with heady pre-production organisation.

It’s an exciting but nerve-wracking time for the couple: Adrian has just left his full-time job at MediaCorp and is preparing to play the lead character, Jerry, in The Full Monty, an adaptation of the celebrated British movie from 1997. ‘As an actor, you have such a cushy job; you just get told what to say and where to stand,’ Adrian says. ‘Producing the show ourselves is where the hard work comes in – it’s an invigorating experience.’

In the movie-turned-musical, Jerry, an unemployed steel worker, uses his young son Nathan’s school money to pay a deposit for the nightclub in which his fortunes are set to turn. In a case of life imitating art, the Pangs’ two sons will take turns to play the part of Nathan. ‘Our family are going to launch this company,’ Tracie says. ‘Playing Jerry is ironically symbolic,’ Adrian adds; ‘I’m doing this, taking my clothes off, for my boys – so I can feed my family!’

Though they have worked as a husband-and-wife team before (on last year’s The Pillowman and The Dresser), the new company means the Pangs have artistic freedom for the first time. Not a pair to start small and grow slowly, choosing The Full Monty as their inaugural production is a measure of their gumption (their second play, in February 2011, will be Patrick Marber’s relationships-in-decay drama, Closer). ‘We thought, heck if we did [Monty], everyone would know our names right from the word go, so we should jump in with two feet and go for it,’ Tracie says.

The Full Monty has been kicked around by a number of theatre companies in Singapore over the years, but has never reached the stage. When Tracie, who will direct the play, read the script, she discovered a heartwarming story about how far a man would go for his family. Because she isn’t into what she describes as ‘brainless tits and teeth musicals’, to find a meaningful piece with great music was a ‘Eureka!’ moment.

Some of you will be scanning these paragraphs for mention of naughty bits: upsettingly for Chippendales enthusiasts, the nudity in the play will be the opposite of gratuitous. Though most famous for its climactic final scene, The Full Monty, says Tracie, ‘is not about exposing these guys. They’re not going to be standing there for three or four minutes in the buff. There’ll be a way that we are doing it, a big climax, so to speak.’ Adrian cuts in: ‘We’re your ordinary Joes. These guys are saying: “Society and circumstances can knock you down – but screw you – in fact, suck on this!” It’s a statement of empowerment.’

Tracie loves the fact that the story flies in the face of magazines that are always advertising the perfect body. ‘It’s about enjoying every man for what he is.’ In her direction of the piece, Tracie will be playing up the theme of how much work gives a man his identity. ‘Once work is taken away,’ she explains, ‘it affects a man in a much larger way than it would a woman. It seriously affects his self-esteem, his ability to go out and find new work.’

As we make our way out of a global recession, this is a theme that 2010 audiences can relate to. It was this accessibility that cemented the Pangs’ decision to put on this play, and to stick to its Buffalo, New York setting (the Broadway musical shifted the film from Sheffield, UK to the US). ‘We didn’t need to transpose it to Singapore to gain relevance,’ Adrian says. ‘We chose it because it was the right story to tell right now.’

From Time Out Singapore, "The Full Monty".


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