Review: Fat Friends the Musical

Leeds Grand TheatreKay Mellor's highly successful TV series has taken to the stage as a musical.

SLIMMERS UNITED: Jodie Prenger and Sam Bailey from the musical version of Fat Friends. At Leeds Grand Theatre until December 2.
SLIMMERS UNITED: Jodie Prenger and Sam Bailey from the musical version of Fat Friends. At Leeds Grand Theatre until December 2.

Although extremely funny and popular when it launched on television back in 2000, Fat Friends The Musical comes over as rather dated and is 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.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But the mainstay of this production lies in its 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.

Fat Friends has a strong local connection, embedded with Leeds humour. Local audiences love and can relate to, hence the standing ovation at last night’s performance .

However there is one question to answer will Fat Friends the Musical be as funny and relevant to those south of Watford gap?

To December 2.