Joshua Andrews and Adam Spiegel are delighted to announce the premiere of an original British musical Fat Friends. The much loved TV drama has been adapted for the stage by prolific writer Kay Mellor and with original music by Nicholas Lloyd Webber, Fat Friends will open at Leeds Grand Theatre on 7 November 2017.
Following this four week run in Mellor’s home city, Fat Friends is set to embark on an extensive UK tour in 2018, with full tour dates and venues to be announced in due course. Designed by Bretta Gerecke with musical supervision, orchestrations and arrangements from Simon Lee, Fat Friends The Musical, sees the nation’s favourite group of dieters reunited as this new show bursts on to the stage. The award-winning Jodie Prenger will lead a star company in the beloved role of Kelly Stevenson with further casting to be announced.
Packed full of warmth, life and weight loss, this brand new stage show reunites our favourite foodie friends in an original musical bulging with hopes, humour and heart. Join the infamous group of loveable characters as they are put through their Zumba paces at their local branch of Super Slimmer’s by the lovelorn Lauren whilst Kelly fantastises about fitting into the wedding dress of her dreams. Fat Friends offers a generous serving of hilarious fun with a sprinkle of romance on top!
Fat Friends hit television screens in October 2000, following the lives of a group of overweight friends as they struggle with the absurdities of modern dieting. Running for five years on ITV, the show starred Alison Steadman, Sheridan Smith and Lisa Riley and launched the careers of James Corden and Ruth Jones. Written by Kay Mellor, the show was nominated for multiple awards including the BAFTA for Best Drama Series.
Kay Mellor said, ‘About once or twice a week I get asked if Fat Friends is going to come back on the television. I’m always flattered that people loved the characters and premise. It ran for four series with a Christmas special and although I felt it had run its course on television, I always secretly thought there could be a musical using those characters and looking at weight. It’s such a topical subject matter, more so today than ever. Everybody you meet is on some kind of diet or knows someone on a diet. The musical is funny and sad with a big story and some meaty and memorable songs. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to work with Nick Loyd Webber who absolutely gets my characters and world. Together I think we’ve created something rather unique. I’m absolutely delighted and thrilled for the premier of Fat Friends The Musical to be held at Leeds Grand Theatre. Not only is Leeds my home town, but it’s where I set the television series and the stage musical. I love Leeds with a passion and the people of Leeds inspire me every day, so it fills me with pride to know that the musical will be seen by the people of Leeds before it goes on a national tour in 2018.’
Nicholas Lloyd Webber added, ‘It’s been such a treat to collaborate with Kay on Fat Friends. The musical world of the show is bright, fresh, catchy and poppy, with tenderness as well as music to move to. My hope is that I’ve written some songs that are at once accessible yet original, with as big a heart as the wonderful piece Kay has written.”
And Jodie Prenger said, ‘I am over the moon to be starring in Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends – The Musical! I have been a huge fan of Kay’s for so long – she is the most brilliant writer, director and just one hell of a lovely lady that you could ever wish to work with. I loved Fat Friends when it was such a successful TV series. So to see some of those characters come to life on stage is a joy, and I am honoured to be playing the wonderful Kelly. And what a thrill for us to premiere the show at the Leeds Grand. Knowing all the creatives involved, I am sure it’s going to be a big fat hit there and around the country! I can’t wait.’