Theatre group searches for leading man

SHORT, tall, fat, thin, blonde, brunette, white, black - an Ipswich theatre group is today casting its net wide in the search for performers for its next production.

SHORT, tall, fat, thin, blonde, brunette, white, black - an Ipswich theatre group is today casting its net wide in the search for performers for its next production.

Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society (IODS) is hunting for actors to audition for its production of the Full Monty.

But the production team have some specific ideas of who they are looking for, especially when it comes to the colour of your skin.

Based on the massive hit film of the same name, the Full Monty was re-written as a musical by American writer David Yazbek, who moved the action from Sheffield to Buffalo in New York.

But with the storyline and characters based very much on the original film, the director of the IODS production, Simon Bowen, has discovered he needs to find an aspiring black actor to take one of the lead roles.

“We need a black guy who can sing and act,” he said.

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“It's one of the lead roles and having the black character is an integral part of the show, so we want some guys to come down and audition.

“The role has got a fantastic song and is involved in a lot of the other scenes as well and does the strip at the end, it's one of the main characters.”

Even though the musical version is set in America, Mr Bowen said it is very similar to the film and even has some of the same dialogue.

He said: “The show is very much like the film, so for all the lead roles we're not just looking for young, strapping guys with six packs, we want it to be realistic, so we want guys of all ages and shapes.

“The show has got some great scenes, some fantastic music that wasn't in the film and it is very funny.”

The Full Monty is set to be performed at the Spa Pavilion Theatre in Felixstowe in October and auditions are being held at the theatre on Sunday June 10. IODS will be holding a series of pre-audition rehearsals at the Labour Club in Silent Street, Ipswich, the first of which will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday, May 24 and then each Tuesday and Thursday in the run up to the auditions. The pre-audition rehearsals give people the chance to hear some of the music and learn about the show and characters.

For more information, contact Simon Bowen on 07834 082512.

Is your theatre group preparing for a performance? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

The Full Monty musical is based on the 1997 film of the same name.

The film starred Robert Carlyle and a group of others as unemployed steelworkers in Sheffield who were searching for an innovative new way to make some money.

The Full Monty became one of the most successful British films of all time and won 33 awards, including an Oscar.

During it's early stages, the film was called Eggs, Beans and Chippendales.

When it was originally released in America, the film caused confusion in cinemas as Americans struggled to understand much of the British slang terms used.

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