Fat Friends the Musical is the brand new musical written by the North’s beloved Kay Mellor, based on her hit TV series by the same name. (Which is also a great watch) The Music is an original soundtrack by the talented Nick LLoyd Webber, and will be on tour around the UK until February 2018, so keep your eyes out and if you can grab yourself some tickets, I recommend you do, as this show is a fresh, fun and fat-loving show, that will definitely make you laugh and smile.
The story is more to do with a relationship, than friendship, I did expect a more united group of fat-friends, rather than just one fat lead and her weight-watchers winning mother. However, this doesn’t take away from a good story line and great music.
The lead is offered the chance to have her wedding of her dreams paid for if she can lose a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of time, on a growing celebrities diet. This, obviously, has some dark turns, and involves relationship breakdowns and the use of diet pills, so it is good to see that the show does address the bad effects of people wanting to lose weight quickly and not healthily.
The show is mainly about telling audiences to love them-selves, and that people will love you no matter what/who you are or what you look like – which might seem a bit basic, but it is something that a lot of people need reminding. But what I was so pleased about was the amount of Northern accents. I know to some people, this will be “annoying” or “distracting”, however, there’s nothing worse than a fake or put-on accent, and let’s be honest, some jokes and swear words belong in an Northern Accent. Personally, I don’t think the show would work in a different dialect.
Being a Leeds lass, I also loved the set having a fish & chip shop and being set in Headingly, it really makes you feel at home. I don’t know if other areas of the UK will warm to it as much as I did, but it really was a class set. Very detailed and thought-out.
The Music is exciting and fun, one song in particular had me screaming laughing – and a song hasn’t done that to me since I saw “Avenue Q” and “The Book of Mormon” and if you’re an avid Theatre go-er or soundtrack enthusiast, you’ll know what type of humor I mean. There are also some very sweet, heart-felt songs, for when the story line builds and hits some serious tones, relate-able to all audiences.
The script is well written, with great comedic timing, I just would have liked some jokes and slang relate-able to younger audiences. I’m 25 and at times I thought the jokes were a bit corny and aimed at an older audience, which is fine, but I wanted a bit more from the younger characters in the script. Even someone saying “she looks peng” – would have added that extra detail.
The actors all did a sterling job, they had great timing, great passion and filled my appetite to be entertained, so standing ovations deserved all round. The entire cast should be proud of themsevles for putting together something new and untested in the Theatre world.
Althoguh, I have to say, as pretty as Freddy Flintoff is, and as lovable, he was like watching a piece of card-board, which worked well for his dumb character, but when he sang, it was a bit like watching a wet weekend. However, he did sing pretty well, and what I always love to see is a cast who look like they’re having a great time and are doing what they love. Lord know, I’m jealous!
However, If you have the chance to go and see this show, I recommend that you do. I had a great evening and think that new work like this should be celebrated.