IT’S Altrincham Garrick’s centenary season - and what a way to get the party started.

The production of the musical The Full Monty reminds us, if we needed reminding, just how talented and versatile this theatre company is.

inspired by the British movie of the same name, it has a challenging score that would stretch the vocal talents of the professionals but this society thrives on challenges are more than meets the ones posed here.

South Yorkshire has been swapped for the States in this feel good show which, apart from the setting, stays true to the spirit of the original big screen tale.

A group of unemployed steelworkers strip off to boost their bank balance in a musical that is as much about friendship and the strength of the human spirit as it is about blokes who aren’t exactly beefcakes losing their inhibitions and, ultimatelly, all their clothes.

Director Steph Niland and her production team have nurtured great performances from the cast who evidently love ever second of their time on stage. I particularly liked Michael Daws as Jerry Lukowski, a decent, divorced dad struggling to pay his maintenance and Simon Pickup as Dave Bukatinski, a man who has lost his ability to make love to his wife as well as his job. David Leathlean is very, very likeable as the up tight but eminently likeable Harold Nichols.

Great fun and not deserving of the small house it had on opening night. Rick Bowen * Until September 14. Tickets are available from 0161 928 1677. Star rating - ****