Stripping on stage and dancing around naked is about to be all in a night’s work for New Plymouth engineer Jimmy Bovaird.
The 29-year-old has landed the lead role in the New Zealand community theatre premiere of the hit play The Full Monty, which opens at Little Theatre in July.
“It’s a bit nerve wracking but I’m really excited to be a part of this,” Bovaird says.
“When I auditioned I didn’t think I’d get the lead role and have to get down to nothing, but I’m actually really looking forward to the stripping. That’s going to be the fun part.”
Bovaird, who has previously starred in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Priscilla Queen of the Desert is playing Gaz, an unemployed steelworker from Sheffield.
His fiancé Jazz Gallagher suggested he audition for the award-winning show, which is based on the 1997 blockbuster movie.
Gallagher, who has also landed a role in The Full Monty, says she’s not worried about other women ogling her man.
“I’m really just showing off my fiancé,” she says, laughing.
“He’s already put a ring on it.”
The famous story follows six ordinary blokes as they have a crack at getting their gear off on stage. The six mates bare their bodies, and sometimes their hearts as they set out to make some cash and repair relationships.
Just like in the movie, Bovaird’s stripping troupe is made up of four younger blokes and two older men.
Taranaki’s young eye candy has been found in 26-year-old Regan Tate, 25-year-old Tyler McGlone and 32-year-old Brad Duynhoven.
Rounding out the six strippers are seasoned entertainers Morris West and Howard Rozon.
Rozon is the former president of Operatic Society and was hunted out by Little Theatre to play the greatest dancer of the troupe, Horse.
“I jumped at the opportunity before I realised what I was actually in for,” Rozon says, laughing.
“I was hoping for maybe a small part, not actually showing my small parts.”
West, who has been in more than 80 plays across three different countries, is raring to go and even wore his favourite g-string to the first rehearsal.
“I wanted to give everyone a laugh and stir them up,” he says.
“That’s the great thing about theatre, you get to be someone else. And the adrenaline kick is pretty good too.”
Director John Lawson says he’s thrilled with the cast of 24 and his team is already hard at work.
“I was really impressed with the level of talent at auditions. We’ve got a great blend of seasoned actors, up and comers and there’s also a couple of newbies as well.
“It’s going to be a cracker of a show.”
As well as the above actors, the cast for The Full Monty includes Flynn Wilson, Emma Glučina, Chris Morrison, Charlie Couchman, Holly Winter, Gillian Gibbon, Alex Sheehan, Tash Paton, Terry Darby, Harsh Negi, Karen Janes, Katherine Wolfe, Jor-El Shaman, Pete Jennings, and Shona Edwards.
THE DETAILS: The Full Monty, a play by Simon Beaufoy and directed by John Lawson, is on at New Plymouth Little Theatre from July 14 to July 31. Early Bird tickets go on sale at noon on Wednesday April 21 from iticket.co.nz. They are $25 with the code “TAKEITOFF”
Words by Taryn Raynes and photography by Monique Matthews Photography