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I've gone the full Monty more than 300 times! LOUIS EMERICK TELLS CATHERINE JONES ABOUT HIS BUSY STRIPPING SCHEDULE.

TIME flies, and next year marks the 20th anniversary of a modest comedy drama about six unemployed Sheffield steelworkers which took the cinemagoing world by storm.

The Full Monty became one of the most successful British films ever made, with the story of the out-of-work, out-of-luck, out-ofshape blokes who decide to form a stripping troupe resonating with the viewing public.

Then there's the daring denouement of course - and hats off to them. Literally.

And it appears it still resonates, with Simon Beaufoy's stage version of his original film script on a second successful tour, and heading for the Empire again next month.

Liverpool's Louis Emerick is one of three returning stars, along with Gary Lucy (Gav) and Andrew Dunn's pompous ex-foreman Gerald.

"We finished the last tour in early December, and started rehearsing again in late August," he explains. I think what attracted me back this time, and it's nothing against the first cast at all, but I was a bit like, been there and done it, but they've got 11 new cast in.

"And Jack Ryder (the director), it's the same story, of course it is, but he's added little things and changed things. And certainly the opening now, I won't give it away but it's so powerful, the speeches and a couple of things that get you right there in the time.

"You think right, bang, this is where we are. "He's done little things throughout, and then added together with the 11 new cast, who have brought a different energy, it's kind of made it a different piece, if that doesn't sound crazy."

Louis is Horse, the role played by fellow Scouser (and his former brother-in-law) Paul Barber in the original film.

The audience first meets him when he applies to join the strip troupe being set up by Gary Lucy's Gaz, who is desperate to raise the money needed to pay his ex-wife and keep seeing his son.

In terms longevity, going on Look at So, I have to ask, how many times has Louis gone the "full monty" on stage so far? Louis Emerick on in The Full Monty He thinks: "When we finished the last tour, I think we'd done over 300 shows. So by the time we finish this tour, it's going to be at least 400. More often than my mum ever wanted me to!" But it turns out that none of them have been as nerve-wracking as the first time the cast disrobed on the fourth day of rehearsals.

"I mean, I knew Gary Lucy but the others I kind of knew by reputation, I'd seen them about," he says. "They said, OK, day four, no one else is coming in and we're going to drop them at the end of the thing. We were like, ah no!

"I can tell you the colour of each and every one of their eyes right away!

"That was the most nerve-wracking time. And now you think, well, whatever, and it's in the context of the story."

Which of course, it is. Because despite attracting quite a few out-for-a-laugh hen parties, The Full Monty isn't just about stripping, it also considers serious social issues.

"What kind of irks me a little bit is that nine out of 10 men say 'it's not for me but the missus will go'," Louis explains. "And I say, it's very much a man's play.

"It's six guys, their community has been decimated. If all these six guys went to the gym and buffed up it wouldn't have the same effect, but they are all as they are.

"And in terms of its longevity, it's still going on now. Look at Redcar. It's such recent history. It still grabs people.

of its it's sill now. Redcar "We had some guys last night and you could hear them all belly laughing. You feel like saying 'go and tell your mates'."

the social issues '." One person who certainly has had a lot of work on this year is Louis himself. He's in a new episode of Moving On, which he hopes will be out this November and also stars with his Full Monty cast mate Pauline Fleming, as well as a horror film, Habit, which was shot in Manchester

And comedy fans can see him in Zapped on Dave. The three-part fantasy comedy series, which started last week, also stars James Buckley (Jay in The Inbetweeners), Paul Kaye from Game Of Thrones, Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary) and Ken Collard (Cuckoo), plus a guest appearance from Steve Coogan.

Louis explains: "James Buckley's character gets sent this bracelet instead of a phone charger, and he puts it on and gets zapped to this land which is back around Robin Hood times I suppose. I run a pub called The Jug and The Other Jug and my name is Herman. And he lands up in our domain.

"It was quite intense. They got the green light and then two weeks later it was like, we've got to film it now, so it was two long filming weeks in Pinewood, but it was a great cast, a great script."

Then there's a break from stripping this Christmas to star in panto, playing the tax collector henchman of Tupele Dorgu's Wicked Queen in Snow White at Leeds - and alongside Ken Dodd as the magic mirror.

| The Full Monty is at the Liverpool Empire, November 7-12.

In terms of its longevity, it's sill going on now. Look at Redcar Louis Emerick on the social issues in The Full Monty

CAPTION(S):

Louis Emerick plays Horse, left, in The Full Monty and Herman, above right, in Zapped

Louis, left, and his cast mates go The Full Monty
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 20, 2016
Words:951
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