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


You must be logged in to post a comment Login