REVIEW Fat Friends Musical Tour 2018

Review Fat Friends Musical UK Tour 2018

One of the most exciting casts in touring history continues to sell out across the UK!

Fat Friends by Kay Mellor has an all star cast!  The entire show is driven by the vocally stunning Jodie Prenger who offers a 5* performance. There’s also Sam Bailey, Natalie Anderson, Kevin Kennedy and ‘nice bit of trouser’ + cricketer Freddie Flintoff.

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.

Tonight’s performance was sold out in Sheffield, mostly by adoring ladies who connected with every cutting line.

It’s bold, sassy, brash and offers a buffet of northern banter. It’s a MEGA HIT of supersized proportions!

They’ve even added a new song since the show opened. Trust me, ‘Chocolate’ is worth the ticket price alone!!! And no, it doesn’t involve a Kit Kat’s 2 fingers…



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, often familiar, but ‘bouncy like their bottoms’ score by The Lord’s son Nick.

Nick Webber does however offer two ’11 O’clock’ moments which steal the show. Act 1 ends with a stunning number by Prenger called ‘Beautiful’ – and it is! This is sensational musical moment, theatre at its best.

Overall, 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. Check listings, he doesn’t perform every at show/venue.

I’m far more impressed though by the two leading ladies with killer voices…

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

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

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.

Natasha Hamilton plays the corrupt and unlovable Julia with camp abandon, Kevin Kennedy stars as northern Dad Fergus alongside the endearing stud vicar Paul, played by Jonathan Halliwell. Chloe Hart also does an excellent job as Val in this relatively intimate, multi-tasking and hard working cast.

Ellie Leah did a wonderful job covering Betty tonight. A pro who makes it look easy.

Rachael Wooding is hilarious in her dual roles as Joanne and Julia Fleshman’s assistant. She doesn’t really get to shine vocally but she’s bloody funny throughout.

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!

Mellor does let herself down with endless cheap laughs including rhyming ‘that’ with ‘twat’. Ouch.

I guess these type of lines do get laughs but ultimately take away from the credibility of the piece. Having said that, it’s not trying to be Pinter. Mellor mostly offers a witty and sarcastic script – Victoria Wood-esk – which is very funny without a doubt….especially during the patter musical numbers.


The set and costumes are nice but clearly not spectacular, that’s not what this show is going for. Basically, if you like Carry On’s or The Royle Family, this is right up your Coronation Street!

Be warned the characters 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 ginger outcasts like me.

There are two killer moments in the show, the first by Jodie and the second by Joel Montague who has a stunning range, tone and voice.

‘Only Fool Is Me’ is a killer moment in Act 2 written perfectly by Nick Lloyd Webber. His Dad should be proud!

Purely for Jodie, Sam & Joel’s voice + Freddie’s & Jonathan’s arms – don’t miss the UK tour of FAT FRIENDS.



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 17th Feb 2018