Plenty ready to shed their inhibitions for Full Monty role

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 November, 2007, 12:00am

Appearing naked on stage must be daunting for any actor. So imagine the surprise of director Arvin Robles (below) when about 80 people auditioned for a part in The Full Monty - the Hong Kong Singers' latest production, which opens tonight.

'Since most people already knew what the story was about, we didn't have any problems asking them to take their clothes off,' he says. 'What's really funny is that when we were casting the main roles, some men tried to deliver an entire strip show.

'That actually proved how determined they were to show how interesting, entertaining and brave they could be.'

Robles, president of the American Community Theatre, is quick to point out that the show - about six unemployed steelworkers desperate for money - is not all about stripping.

'It's about the journey of these six men from being desperate and depressed to finding friends or repairing relationships with people around them. It is a show where you can watch the characters grow. It really is a feel-good show.'

But there was one role he had trouble filling. 'We couldn't find the one man to play the professional stripper. At last, we found an Academy for Performing Arts drama student to play that role. He is really open-minded and talented and approached it like a professional.'

Rob Archibald, who plays the body-conscious chubby Dave and is an English teacher in real life, said: 'Most people do have a body-image issue and I do think being naked is kind of a big deal for me, but you have to let go when you are performing your character on stage.'

The Full Monty runs until Monday at City Hall. Inquiries: 2734 9009, or