Ladies Night (play)

Ladies' Night is a play by the New Zealand writers Stephen Sinclair and Anthony McCarten about a group of unemployed workers who develop a male strip show.


It was first performed in December 1987 at Auckland's Mercury Theatre and is the most commercially successful play in New Zealand's theatre history.[1] It had several national sell-out tours in the UK since 1990 and has been translated into sixteen languages. It continues to play worldwide to popular acclaim. In 2001, the Paris production at the Théâtre Rive Gauche in a French adaptation by Jacques Collard received the Molière Award for Best Comedy.


The first season was workshopped with the actors for month before opening, with the season rapidly selling out. Actors included Bruce Hopkins, Michael Lawrence, Shane Dawson, Nigel Harbrow, Ross Duncan and Alison Bruce.

Full Monty lawsuit

In 1998, McCarten launched a multimillion-pound lawsuit in California, US, against the producers of the 1997 film The Full Monty, which has a strikingly similar theme and was the highest-grossing British film at the time.[2] It was dismissed because the film had been made in England.[3]

Thus, McCarten and Sinclair filed a £180 million English lawsuit against the producers of The Full Monty in 1998.[4] They claim that the film blatantly infringed on their play Ladies Night, which toured both Britain and New Zealand.[5][6] Anthony McCarten and Stephen Sinclair created a website containing their play in response to statements from the producers of The Full Monty that claimed the two productions were not alike. The underlying rights were attributed to co-producer, Paul Bucknor, and the lawsuit was settled out of court; as part of the agreement, the website containing Ladies Night was shut down.[7]


  1. Stephen Sinclair, The Oxford Companion to New Zealand literature. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
  2. "Writers sue over The Full Monty". BBC News. 1998-03-04. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
  3. "Writers lose Full Monty copyright case". The Scotsman. June 12, 1998. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
  4. "Full Monty Producers Sued by 2 New Zealand Playwrights". Playbill. 3 March 1998. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  5. "Writers sue over The Full Monty", BBC News, 4 March 1998.
  6. 'Ladies' fight.', Campbell, Gordon. New Zealand Listener p. 25-26; 26 September 1998.
  7. "Hollywood Plagiarism", Weird Realm Film Reviews. Retrieved 1 October 2007.
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