The Full Monty: Backstage with Morris West

Morris West is one of the six leading men in the New Zealand community theatre premiere of The Full Monty. Every week he gives us a behind the scenes peep at The Full Monty rehearsals, the cheeky shenanigans, and the naked photo shoots. This is week four of rehearsals and Morris talks about practicing for that final dance, the record-breaking ticket sell out, and his final costume.


Major progress for the week has to be the record sell-out of tickets for the three new shows.

The first of these, a Tuesday night, never even made it to the box office, and sold to three large groups. Girl’s Night Out sales opened at midday and by 12:04 had sold, and by 12:09 the Monty Matinee was also gone, A RECORD FOR SALES!! Despite these extra three shows, there are still many disappointed people, hoping it extends further…the show that is.

The magnificent set continues to grow. Gerald now has a shed door, but work continues on the rest as well. The great thing about John and his team having the set so far advanced is that it allows fine-tuning to perfect it.

Morris West, Regan Tate, Jimmy Bovaird, Brad Duynhoven, Howard Rozon and Tyler McGlone are the six leading men in the New Zealand amateur premiere of The Full Monty. PHOTOS CREDIT: MONIQUE MATTHEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

Props and costuming is now into full speed. I am a bit concerned that the guys’ final outfits are being progressed at greater pace. I’m sure this is not in the hope that the boys will have to wear them, (a bit of a misnomer there), for all rehearsals.

Dance rehearsals are still stepping up and once again, the girls watching are needing no encouragement to video them.

It was a partial week for me, with a Mrs Brown gig in Wellington for Mother’s day, but I’m sure no one missed me.

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. The season is sold out.

Meet Full Monty man Jimmy Bovaird

New Plymouth engineer Jimmy Bovaird’s fiance told him to audition for The Full Monty, and not only did he get in, he landed the lead role. The 29-year-old is now gearing up to get his gear off in front of sold out crowds. We caught up with Jimmy to find out how he’s feeling about getting his kit off on stage, and what his stripper name would be in real life.

Hi Jimmy! You’re playing leading man Gaz in The Full Monty. How are you feeling about getting your gear off in front of so many people? 
I’m feeling a bit nervous, but kinda excited. I mean flashing people during a show has never been something I thought I would ever do, but here we are!

If you were a stripper in real life, what would your stage name be, and what would be your signature stripping song? 
My stage name would probably be Ooohh Brad and signature song Damn it, Janet.

It’s not the first time you’ve been on stage with some of your clothes off is it? Tell us more!
No it’s not. Usually I get to keep my underwear on at least – but that’s the best thing about theatre, trying new things you wouldn’t normally do.

Morris West, Regan Tate, Jimmy Bovaird, Brad Duynhoven, Howard Rozon and Tyler McGlone are the six leading men in the New Zealand community theatre premiere of The Full Monty. CREDIT: MONIQUE MATTHEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

Any similarities between you and your character Gaz? 
Quite a bit. I’m usually the joker in my friend groups, as well as the one who comes up with all the ideas of things to do. Not to mention working in a similar industry and being about the same age.

What do you do outside of theatre? 
Outside of theatre I spend most of my time with my amazing fiance Jazz, who is also in the show. Together we like finding great places to eat and great movies to watch. Other than that I spend my time doing everyone’s favorite past time – working. And when I do find myself with spare time outside of all of those activities I like to work on my project car, but that’s usually very limited.

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. Tickets from iticket.co.nz.


Main photo caption: Jazz Gallagher suggested her fiancé Jimmy Bovaird audition for the New Zealand amateur premiere of the award-winning show, The Full Monty. CREDIT: MONIQUE MATTHEWS PHOTOGRAPHY


Interview with Taryn Raynes and photography by Monique Matthews Photography

Enchanted April takes out top award at Toscars

We had a wonderful night celebrating our 2020 season at our annual theatre awards, The Toscars. Read on to hear from our President Stella McCallum and find out who nabbed the top gongs!

President Stella McCallum

President Stella McCallum’s speech at The 2020 Toscars
Thanks to you all for coming to celebrate our achievements of 2020. Tonight marks the 52nd Toscars celebration. A tradition that’s even older than me, but not by much.

Last year was challenging for theatres all around the world. As President of New Plymouth Little Theatre, I am extremely proud of how we all pulled together as a community to bring two enjoyable shows to our patrons whilst ensuring that we keep everyone safe by following Government-directed preventative measures and guidelines. We, as a committee, place great importance on the health and wellbeing of our community and despite significant interruptions to normal operations, we can report another successful year of profitable shows.

Those interruptions resulted in a nine-month rehearsal and production season for Enchanted April by Matthew Barber – directed by Vivienne Baty. The team on and off stage displayed a remarkable resilience during this time, even rehearsing online to ensure they brought our patrons a quality show and welcome relief during a stressful time.

Our Christmas show this year saw the return of a hilarious, old favourite; A Kick in the Baubles by Gordon Steele – directed by Christine King.

Both plays were well received by patrons and reviewers.

Characters from the play standing and pointing at each other
A Kick in the Baubles

In addition to these shows, we continue to host Singer Songwriters and Taranaki Theatre Sports. We also hosted a memorial for a special and well-loved member of our theatre community; Derek Treeby.

Last year, we successfully secured $175,322 from the Department of Internal Affairs via the Lotteries Commission. Together with donations from office bearers, from Gordon Craig for work completed by Brian Smith, earnings from restored antique equipment sold and a contribution from theatre funds, a total of $228,940 was raised to launch a project managed by our theatre representative, Brian Smith, which has seen structural reinforcements and renovations that will secure the future of New Zealand’s oldest theatre.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to extend a special word of thanks to our working group team, comprising Brian Smith, Chris Larsen, Graham Blanks, Andy Spindler, Tony Pearce, Sonya Armstrong, Sorrell Hoskin and Andrew Priest, who have toiled many, many hours to ensure the project’s success.

I would also like to make special mention of our patron Andy Spindler who recently transferred to Hamilton. Fortunately, Andy has offered to remain in the position of Patron and on behalf of the committee, I would like to thank you for your wisdom and support.

We are also grateful for continued sponsorship from Primo Wireless and Mediaworks.

We’ve had an exciting year ahead to look forward to. Last month, we presented our first show of the year, the Broadway hit, Sylvia, directed by Nicci Smith. Our winter show is the New Zealand community theatre premiere of The Full Monty directed by John Lawson and our Christmas show this year will be directed by Mary Barron and I, The Vicar of Dibley at Christmas. I hope you all come to see and support these wonderful shows.

Now, I’d like to move on the the awards. We will hear from our adjudicator after the supper break but I would like to present some awards to a few people who don’t usually step on stage but they keep this place working and entertaining the community. Before I do so, I would like to thank every single person who has contributed to the running of the theatre and its shows over the last year, particularly in such a climate of health concern and uncertainty.

President awards
President’s Cup – Mary Barron
Backstage Excellence –  Brian Smith
Best Club Member – Graham Banks and Sorrell Hoskin
Technical Excellence – Derek Baker
Distinguished Service to the Theatre – Chris Larsen

Show awards
Most Promising Performer – Suzy Adair (A Kick in the Baubles)
Best Supporting Actress – Glenys Horsfall (Enchanted April)
Best Supporting Actor – Adam Sedgwick (A Kick in the Baubles)
Best Actress – Vicky Fairley (Enchanted April)
Best Actor – John Lawson (A Kick in the Baubles)
Best Set (Stagecraft Cup) –  John Lawson – (Enchanted April)
Best Production – (Enchanted April) 

Behind the scenes: Week three at The Full Monty

Morris West is one of the six leading men in the New Zealand community theatre premiere of The Full Monty. Every week he’s going to give us a behind the scenes peep at The Full Monty rehearsals, the cheeky shenanigans, and the naked photo shoots. This is week three of rehearsals and Morris has been enjoying some time at the spa, and with his gnomes.

This week I discovered the importance of actually reading messages and not just having a ‘man-look’.

Production manager Tash Paton sent out the info for the big photo shoot. This was sent midweek and when I read it I saw Sunday at 2pm and read no further.

Morris West, Regan Tate, Jimmy Bovaird, Brad Duynhoven, Howard Rozon and Tyler McGlone are the six leading men in the New Zealand amateur premiere of The Full Monty. PHOTOS CREDIT: MONIQUE MATTHEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

A spray tan was booked and carried out by Zen Day Spa, (who tried to find out if we are going “Full Monty”, and no I didn’t tell them)

I sent out the photo to a few who might like to know, only to be asked, “Great, but will that last until the 16th, when the photo shoot is scheduled?” Still it looked great for Marisa, the Emcee for the Toscars.

Congratulations to John “ALAN, ALAN” Lawson for his victories, ahead of stern opposition, (for stern read none), and to others in the cast who picked up awards. Also well done to Jor-El Shaman, Charlie Couchman and me for their entertainment items on the Toscars.

Morris and his gnome got a spray tan at Zen Day Spa. Just for fun.

As of mid-week, with that final, lone ticket selling, we officially became a bunch of sell-outs.

Gillian Gibbon, aka Linda Luv, discovered the danger of listening to advice from men, who told her, “You can throw that gnome, it’s solid resin and won’t break.” We have since discovered they are not solid and do indeed break, resulting in garden gnome Happy Pete becoming pirate Lucky Pete, or Not-so-lucky Pete, with one eye, a hook hand and a wooden leg.

Finally, I can settle an age-old myth: I have now been dark skinned for four days and my willy hasn’t got any longer.

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. Thirteen shows have sold out, so we’ve added a Girls’ Night out and a Monty Matinee. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday May 5 at noon, at iticket.co.nz. They are $30.

Backstage at The Full Monty – Week two

Morris West is one of the six leading men in the New Zealand community theatre premiere of The Full Monty. Every week he’s going to give us a behind the scenes peep at The Full Monty rehearsals, the cheeky shenanigans, and the naked photo shoots. This is week two of rehearsals and already the men are practicing getting their gear off in front of a crowd of ladies.

Week two done and dusted and the ladies at rehearsals are impressed that we’ve already got round to undress rehearsals, some more than others, (undress that is, well both actually).

Despite our main marketing gal Taryn’s Facebook bans, we have still managed to sell out the original season. Extra nights, along with special nights, and a matinee, are already planned. Don’t worry Taryn, the peach will be released, we know your cheeky posts have got a bum deal, but we’ll get to the bottom of it, so don’t crack up.

This nice peachy bum keeps getting our marketing team banned from Facebook

Director John Lawson and his helpers continue to do amazing work on the set. I know I’ve never been involved in a show where set, marketing and ticket sales have been so far advanced.

April Krijger gave the boys their first taste of her amazing choreography and as the expert in two left feet and lack of timing, I absolutely loved it, so did the ladies watching.

The question I get asked the most is, “So, do you get your kit off?” My reply, “You’ll have to buy a ticket.” To which I now usually add, “If you can get one.”

Morris West, Regan Tate, Jimmy Bovaird, Brad Duynhoven, Howard Rozon and Tyler McGlone are the six leading men in the New Zealand amateur premiere of The Full Monty. ALL PHOTOS CREDIT: MONIQUE MATTHEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

The cast continue to get into their lines and accents, but I’ll sign off now as I still haven’t prepared my stuff for the Toscars.

NA NA NA NA, HEY HEY HEY, GET YOUR GEAR OFF!

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. Thirteen shows have sold out, so we’ve added a Girls’ Night out and a Monty Matinee. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday May 5 at noon, at iticket.co.nz. They are $30.

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