THE MUSICAL OF THE SITCOM ARRIVES AT THE GRAND
Kay Mellor’s highly successful sitcom has taken to the stage as a musical and is delighting Leeds audiences with its content.
Although extremely funny and popular when it launched on T.V. back in 2000, Fat Friends – The Musical , comes over as rather dated and is certainly not the stuff today’s major stage musicals are made of.
Nick Lloyd Webber’s score is excellent but has no tunes that stay with you once you’ve left the auditorium, whilst Mellor’s script, especially in the early stages, is perhaps a tad too wordy. However once the ‘Mellor Magic’ kicks in the production gathers pace and energy.
But the mainstay of this production lies in it’s dynamic cast who fit beautifully into their individual characterizations and make them really believable
The story revolves around the members of the The Super Slimmers Group and Kelly, a bride, desperate to lose weight to fit into the wedding gown of her dreams.
As Kelly, Jodie Prenger is outstanding and drives the whole show. From her body image and vocals to her comedic interpretation her performance is pure gold.
Andrew Flintoff as her future husband proves he can do more than play cricket whilst Natasha Hamilton as the scheming owner of the slimming clubs is convincing, although at times is a little bit over the top.
Former Coronation Street star, Kevin Kennedy is superb as the long suffering fish and chip shop proprietor whose business is suffering because of Super Slimmers even thought his wife is one of their star dieters.
Fat Friends has a strong local connection, embedded with Leeds humour which local audiences love and can relate to, hence the standing ovation at its gala performance .
However there is one question to answer will Fat Friends the musical be as funny and relevant to those south of Watford gap?
Fat Friends runs until 2 December.
Liz Coggins is a member of the Critic’s Circle