Fat Friends – Bradford Alhambra

AS I’VE never watched the award-winning TV show Kay Mellor's Fat Friends I went to this show without a clue what I was going to see.

Along with the packed Alhambra audience I was definitely in for a treat with what unfolded before my eyes.

Fat Friends is about a number of people who attend a slimming group, all showing the traits of our everyday slimming groups, taking as many layers off as possible before getting on the scales, even going to the toilet in the hope they might be a little lighter!

Jodie Prenger (Kelly), the winner of the BBC's talent show I'd Do Anything, is cast as the daughter of X Factor winner Sam Bailey (Betty) and Kevin Kennedy (Fergus), Curly Watts in Coronation Street.

Kelly wanted to lose a bit of weight for her wedding to cricket legend Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff (Kevin).

It all gets completely out of hand when Laura Mansell (Julia Fleshman), the slimming group’s head leader, announces that she will not only pay for wedding dress but for the wedding as well if Kelly can drop two dress sizes within six weeks!

The stage is very well set on a street in Headingley with a bridal shop, church and the “Big and Battered" fish and chip shop that Kelly and her family run.

I enjoyed the change over from the outside to the inside of the church and the bridal shop which was a clever and smooth transition.

Natalie Anderson (Lauren), star of Emmerdale, is the owner of the bridal shop as well as being the slimming group leader.

She isn’t getting any younger and is still on the hunt for Mr Right, not knowing that he is the local vicar Jonathan Halliwell (Paul). Thankfully all her dreams came true and they finally hook up.

Rachael Wooding (Joanne/Pippa) played her parts perfectly as the skinny sister who doesn't hold back with unnecessary comments to Kelly when her dress wouldn't fit. The transformation into her role as Pippa, the sidekick of Julia Fleshman, was hilarious to watch even though she was not centre-stage.

Neil Hurst (Alan), our local comedy act in Halifax's panto, was brilliant.

I found myself drawn to him throughout the show and had us in stitches with his crazy dance moves and facial expressions.

Last but in no means least was the ever-so-talented and energetic ensemble who held the show together perfectly.

* Until Saturday. Visit bradford-theatres.co.uk or call 01274 432000.

Laura Harness