Chippenham hunt ends with Royal Wootton Bassett pub owner

This Is Wiltshire: Andy Pett of Riffs Bar Andy Pett of Riffs Bar

A musical theatre company’s hunt for a hunk happy to take his clothes off onstage has ended successfully.

CLOGS’ production of The Full Monty, which will be performed in the Neeld Hall in Chippenham, was missing a man needed to play the stripper who inspires a group of steel-workers to bare all for cash.

But when pub-owner and electrician Andy Pett’s partner Tiggy York heard about the role, she immediately put him forward for it.

Mr Pett, who owns Riffs Bar in Greatfield, near Royal Wootton Bassett, said: “The wife of one of the guys doing the Full Monty works at Reach Inclusive Arts with my partner.

“This lady, Helen, told my partner that the production needed a bloke to play a stripper and my missus immediately said ‘Andy will do it!’ “She came home and told me she’d volunteered me for it, and when I said ‘No way’, she said ‘At least you get to keep a thong on’. It didn’t cheer me up that much though.”

Not only does Mr Pett have to take his kit off to take on the role of Buddy ‘Keno’ Walsh, but he also has to practise an American accent for his scenes.

“The more I think about it, the more it scares the hell out of me,” said Mr Pett, 45.

“I’ve got to learn some lines as well.

“The bloke I’m playing is a professional stripper, which is even funnier. I’ve only got three weeks to go so I need to start rehearsing.”

When Mr Pett accepted the part, it was a shock to discover the performance will be on a big stage.

“This play has been done before in Christian Malford, but it was in a marquee in a back garden then, and that’s what I assumed it would be this time around,” he said.

“When I found out it was on a proper stage, I did think, ‘What have I got myself into’.”

But taking to the boards is not a new experience for Mr Pett, who sings and plays guitar with the Riffs Travelling Band in his pub twice a week.

He said: “I used to be in a glam-rock band, so I’m used to dressing up and being on stage.

“I’ve never taken my clothes off onstage before though.

“It’s embarrassing enough doing it at home.”

The Full Monty will be performed at the Neeld Hall from October 17 to 21.

Call (01249) 701628 or visit www.

chippenham-clogs.co.uk

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