4* REVIEW Fat Friends Musical Tour

Review Fat Friends Musical UK Tour

One of the most exciting casts in touring history is finally on the road across the UK!

Fat Friends by Kay Mellor stars the vocally stunning Jodie Prenger & Sam Bailey as well as Natalie Anderson, Kevin Kennedy and ‘nice bit of trouser’ + cricketer Freddie Flintoff (no experience required).

Fat Friends has become ‘The Musical’ bringing the nation’s favourite group of dieters to the stage after wowing TV audiences for 5 years from 2000.

This show is female friendly fun packed northern nonsense with nice enough songs and a talented star cast.



Full cast & tour date here via YouTube:

Via a Zumba class at a Yorkshire branch of Super Slimmer’s, we follow the story of lovelorn Lauren whilst Kelly fantasises about fitting into the wedding dress of her dreams.

Fat Friends is feel-good theatre with a mostly forgettable but ‘bouncy like their bottoms’ score by The Lord’s (Webber) son Nick.

This is less Phantom or Evita and more Joseph for salad dodgers!

OK, lets cut to the chase – can Freddie act? Well, surprisingly what he lacks in Sir Ian’s theatrical prowess or Ball & Boe’s vocal magnificence – he makes up for in arms, charm, personality, abs & cool.

A mega-hit with the ladies for sure who does the show proud.!


This show offers two leading ladies with killer voices…

I’ve made no secret that I believe Jodie Prenger, winner of I’d Do Anything in 2008, is a star and the epitome of a West End diva. She’s cute in every sense…essential for this role.

This girl can sing bigtime! She steals the show (naturally) as northern battleaxe & bride-to-be Kelly, offering Yorkshire spunk with a delicious and endearing portion of insecurity.

Meanwhile  X-Factor winner Sam Bailey offers a perfect Betty. This may well be the best suited role of Sam’s career. Vocally she’s 5* but most importantly she looks perfectly at home with the script, show, cast and content!

Both of these ladies are arguably worth the ticket price alone.

Kevin Kennedy (Coronation Street) stars as Fergus and Rachael Wooding (We Will Rock You) appears as Joanne, alongside Jonathan Halliwell (Let It Shine) as Paul and Chloe Hart (Hairspray) as Val. All do a great job in this relatively intimate and hard working cast.

This ain’t The Lion King, Wicked or even Mamma Mia. It’s more or less a play with music much in the feel of the recent Gary Barlow West End flop Calendar Girls.

I fear this Leeds(ish) based story would suffer the same fate if it went into town. It may even struggle south of the Midlands as it comes across a little ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’ in places. Far too common for those who desire the Queen’s English!

This does play up to northern ‘whippet’ & ‘outdoor lavies’ stereotypes a little to much. We don’t all eat pork pies for dinner and would rather have a cup of tea than ‘one, two buckle my shoe!’

I guess these type of lines do get cheap laughs. Mellor does offer an expertly witty and sarcastic script which is very funny without a doubt.


The set and costumes are nice but clearly not spectacular, that’s not what this show is going for. Basically, if you like Caroline Aherne & Victoria Wood-esk comedy, this is right up your Coronation Street!

Be warned this cast are northern gobshites and the language may well make your Aunty Fanny blush! This is not Shakespeare, it’s bawdy northern cabaret at times.

The musical numbers sum up this show: “Love who you are” & Everyone is beautiful”. An uplifting sentiment that gives us all hope! Even gingers like me.

So why did they cast Freddie to the disdain of London lovies? Why else do 40 something women pay £45 to go to the theatre? Bums on seats is the only way to pay for a show on this scale.

Kudos where it is due – he held his own and judging from the reaction from the audience, most of them would like to hold it too!

Purely for Jodie & Sam’s voice + Freddie’s arms, don’t miss the premier of FAT FRIENDS at the Leeds Grand until the 2 December 2017.


Bromley Churchill 16-20 January
Newcastle Theatre Royal 23-27 January
Hull New Theatre 29 January-3 February 2018
Southampton Mayflower 5-10 February
Sheffield Lyceum 12-17 February
Southend Cliffs 19-24 February

Milton Keynes 5-10 March
Norwich Theatre Royal 12-17 March
Manchester Opera House 19-24 March
Nottingham Theatre Royal 26-31 March
Birmingham Alexandra 3-7 April
Dartford Orchard 9-13 April
Edinburgh Playhouse 19-22 April
Cardiff Millennium Centre 24-28 April

Glasgow King’s 30 April-5 May
Bradford Alhambra 14-19 May
Aberdeen Performing Arts 21-26 May
Blackpool Winter Gardens 29 May-2 June

Uploaded by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 20th November 2017