The Full Monty - Cliffs Pavilion, Southend

EVERY once in a while a story comes along at the right time and captures everyone's imaginations.

And this '90s set tale of laid-off Sheffield steel workers coming together to try and earn a few quid in the wake of a major recession is surely amongst the greatest of the little films that could.

Not only did it even gain an Oscar nod, it also made major stars of a number of the cast.

And this warm, big-hearted stage adaptation more than does its celluloid counterpart justice.

Every one of the ensemble cast here, carefully chosen and brilliantly directed, is spot on, from Gary Lucy as Gaz and Kai Owen as central best mates Gary and Dave right through to Emmerdale actor Joe Gill as Lomper.

Equally impressive are James Redmond, Andrew Dunn and Louis Emerick, all displaying fantastic comic timing and relishing every word of the superb dialogue.

This is very much a play with music, building up to that iconic final scene set piece which does not disappoint.

It is impressive how much of the story has been kept in place, with just a few very clever yet welcome tweaks in order to adapt to a stage setting.

Yes this is very much a fun night out, for the grown-ups, but at the heart of it the Full Monty has a very poignant tale about friendship, belonging, self-esteem and survival - and this production delivers that beautifully.

The Full Monty is at the Cliffs until Saturday April 6 Box office