Belly laughs all round from Fat Friends at HMT
As a self-confessed 'larger lady', Kay Mellor's Fat Friends TV series was one of my absolute favourites.
So you can imagine my delight when Fat Friends The Musical rocked up at HMT in Aberdeen this week.
The story is set around a slimming club and the ups and downs of its members, particularly Kelly and her fiance Kevin, Kelly's mum and dad, Betty and Fergus, and the slimming class leader Lauren.
Returning to the HMT stage after a lengthy spell in panto, was Elaine C. Smith in the role of Betty,. And despite being a broadly Leeds-based play she clung on to her well-known Glaswegian accent. Her on-stage husband was none other than Kevin Kennedy (Curly Watts from Coronation Street), who managed to get plenty of laughs during his time in front of the audience.
Jodie Prenger, who many may recall landed the role of Nancy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'I'd Do Anything' TV programme, was an absolute star in the role of Kelly and wasn't afraid to show off her voluptuous figure to its very best as she declared to be loud and proud of her body (much to the delight of the audience!). Proclaiming that 'diets are crap' she danced about the stage in a figure-hugging corset as she unsuccessfully attempted to fit in to her perfect wedding gown
Her hapless fiance was played by Joel Montague, who played the role of utterly useless, yet adorable, to perfection.
Another famous star of stage and screen was Natasha Hamilton (ex Atomic Kitten) who took on the role of Julia Fleshman, the creator of the slimming club, and oozed 'spoilt brat' from the very off.
Other 'fat club' members included Alan (who had a weak spot for fish and chips), while Jonathan Halliwell (who made the final of Gary Barlow's 'Let it Shine' last year) played the role of vicar and zumba class leader Paul.
It's a definite feel-good musical and anyone who has ever joined a slimming class or started a fad diet will be able to relate to the story.
While the songs aren't particularly memorable, the homage to chocolate, involving unwrapping what looked like particularly large Flake bars, was unforgettable for a number of reasons!
Aside from a technical glitch with the safety curtain - which led to a 35-minute interval - the first night of this show was well received by the audience, who gave a deserving standing ovation at the end.
If you were a fan of the TV show, then get yourself along to HMT in Aberdeen to see this - you'll be kicking yourself if you miss it.
Fat Friends The Musical is on at His Majesty's until Saturday, May 26. For ticket details go to www.aberdeenperformingarts.com