Following the first performance of Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends the Musical this week, the first production images have been released. Starring Freddie Flintoff, Sam Bailey, Jodie Prenger, Natasha Hamilton, Natalie Anderson and Kevin Kennedy, Fat Friends the Musical is showing in Leeds, home of the original TV series, until 2nd December ahead of extensive UK tour.

Fat Friends, the award-winning TV drama has been adapted for the stage by its creator and one of the UK’s most prolific writers, Kay Mellor. With original music and songs composed by Nicholas Lloyd Webber, Fat Friends – The Musical opened at Leeds Grand Theatre on 7th November. Freddie Flintoff will appear in Leeds, Southampton, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford and Blackpool with WhatsOnStage Award nominee Joel Montague completing the remaining tour dates.

Full dates and tickets are available at www.fatfriendsthemusical.com.

Produced by Joshua Andrews and Adam Spiegel, Fat Friends – the Musical is designed by Bretta Gerecke with choreography by Karen Bruce, musical supervision, orchestrations and arrangements from Simon Lee, sound design by two-time Olivier Award winning Gareth Owen and lighting design from Tony Award nominated Nick Richings, Fat Friends - The Musical, sees the nation’s favourite group of dieters reunited as this new show bursts on to the stages around the UK.

Full cast includes; Jodie Prenger, Andrew “Freddie Flintoff, Sam Bailey, Joel Montague Elain C Smith, Rachel Wooding, Kevin Kennedy, Natalie Anderson, Jonathan Halliwell, Natasha Hamilton, Neil Hurst, Chloe Hart, Craig Armstrong, Lizzie Bea, Paul Brangan, Emma Crossley, Ellie Leah, Laura Mansell and Ryan Pidgen.

The ‘weight’ is over; 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 fantasises 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. Entertaining millions of viewers for five years on ITV, the show starred Alison Steadman, Gaynor Faye 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

Kay Mellor OBE is a Leeds born and bred Writer, Director and Actress best known for her work on several successful and groundbreaking drama series’ including Fat Friends, Band of Gold, The Syndicate and In The Club. She is also well known for her stage version of A Passionate Woman, which played in the West End and is still touring to this day both nationally and internationally.

Kay attended Bretton Hall College and graduated with a BA Hons degree in 1983. After finishing her studies, she formed Yorkshire Theatre Company, where she wrote and performed in Paul – Won Best New Play in the National Student Drama Festival - Climbing Out and Mates, and performed in Brecht’s Man is Man. Kay also played Dr Baker in The Practice, PC Kershaw in Albion Market and Mrs Butterworth in All Creatures Great and Small. She then began working for Granada Television, working on their hugely popular soap opera Coronation Street, the most watched programme on the ITV network. In 1989 she also wrote many episodes for the popular Channel 4 soap opera Brookside.

Kay wrote for the anthology drama series Dramarama, before in 1988 co-creating the long running children's drama Children’s Ward with her Coronation Street colleague Paul Abbott. The series was awarded Best Children’s Drama by the Royal Television Society in 1995, and won Best Children’s Drama in the 1997 BAFTA Awards. She also created the soap opera Families (1990-1993) and wrote and starred in four series’ of the family show Just Us (1990 – 1994) which, amongst other accolades, was awarded Best Children’s TV programme by the Writers Guild of Great Britain.

Since then, Kay has written a host of highly-acclaimed and popular television drama serials including: Two series’ of Band of Gold (1995, Royal Televsion Society Best Network Programme and ITV Programme Of The Year); Five series’ of Playing the Field (1998, twice BAFTA nominated for Best Drama Series); Four Series’ of Fat Friends (2000, twice BAFTA nominated and James Corden nominated for The Royal Television Society Network Newcomer in 2001, as well as winning various TV industry awards for Best Drama), Between the Sheets (2003), Strictly Confidential (2006), The Chase (2006), A Passionate Woman (2010, nominated for a Royal Television Society Award), The Syndicate (2012-2015, nominated for various Royal Television Society awards) and In The Club (2014-16).

Outside of television, Kay has written a number of feature films including: Girls Night starring Julie Walters, Brenda Blethyn and Kris Kristofferson (1998, won the Audience Prize at the Sundance Film Festival); In 1999 she both wrote and directed the feature film Fanny and Elvis, starring Ray Winstone, which won the Audience Prize at the Dinard British Film Festival, amongst others; and one off drama Some Kind of Life which was BAFTA nominated and won the Prix Niki Award.

In her parallel career as a television actress, Kay has appeared in her own adaptation of Jane Eyre (1997) and in other series such as the comedy drama Stan the Man (2002), A Good Thief (2002) and Gifted (2003). On stage, Kay has acted in Three Girls in Blue and she wrote and starred in the one-woman show Queen at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Kay was awarded the BAFTA Dennis Potter Award in 1997 for Outstanding Writing for Television. She was appointed an OBE in the 2009 Birthday Honours, and in 2014 she was awarded the Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Contribution to Writing. Kay received a Fellowship for significant contribution to television from the Royal Television Society in November 2016.

Kay has most recently written and created Love, Lies & Records which airs on BBC One in Autumn 2017. She has written and directed Girlfriends which airs on ITV in early 2018 and also exec produced Overshadowed for BBC3. Kay will fulfil her lifelong dream of creating a musical when Fat Friends premieres in November 2017.


Joshua Andrews and Adam Spiegel present
Fat Friends – The Musical
By Kay Mellor
Director: Kay Mellor
Music by Nicholas Lloyd Webber
Musical Supervisor, Orchestrations and Arrangements: Simon Lee
Choreography: Karen Bruce
Set and Costume Design: Bretta Gerecke
Sound Design by Gareth Owen
Lighting Design by Nick Richings

Casting Configurations

There are six casting configurations for this tour, detailed here:

All venues

Natalie Anderson, Chloe Hart, Neil Hurst, Kevin Kennedy, Jodie Prenger and Rachael Wooding

Cast Blue

All principal cast plus Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff playing ‘Kevin’, Sam Bailey playing ‘Betty’ and Natasha Hamilton playing ‘Julia’

Cast Red

All principal cast plus Joel Montague playing ‘Kevin’, Sam Bailey playing ‘Betty’ and Natasha Hamilton playing ‘Julia’

Cast Orange

All principal cast plus Elaine C Smith playing ‘Betty’, Joel Montague playing ‘Kevin’ without Natasha Hamilton

Cast Purple

All principal cast plus Joel Montague playing ‘Kevin’, Sam Bailey playing ‘Betty’ and Natasha Hamilton playing ‘Julia’

Cast Yellow

All principal cast plus Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff playing ‘Kevin’, Sam Bailey playing ‘Betty’ without Natasha Hamilton

Cast Green

All principal cast plus Joel Montague playing ‘Kevin’, Sam Bailey playing ‘Betty’ without Natasha Hamilton

Tue 7 Nov – Sat 2 Dec
LEEDS Grand Theatre
0844 848 2700
ON SALE
Cast Blue

Tue 16 – Sat 20 Jan
BROMLEY Churchill Theatre
020 3285 6000
ON SALE
Cast Red

Tue 23 – Sat 27 Jan
NEWCASTLE Theatre Royal
0844 811 2121
ON SALE
Cast Red

Mon 29 Jan – Sat 3 Feb
HULL New Theatre
01482 300 300
ON SALE
Cast Red

Mon 5 – Sat 10 Feb
SOUTHAMPTON Mayflower Theatre
02380 711811
ON SALE
Cast Blue

Mon 12 – Sat 17 Feb
SHEFFIELD Lyceum
0114 249 6000
ON SALE
Cast Blue

Mon 19 – Sat 24 Feb
SOUTHEND Cliffs Pavilion
01702 351135
ON SALE
Cast Red

Mon 5 – Sat 10 Mar
MILTON KEYNES Theatre
0844 871 7652
ON SALE
Cast Red

Mon 12 – Sat 17 Mar
NORWICH Theatre Royal
01603 630000
ON SALE
Cast Red

Mon 19 – Sat 24 Mar
MANCHESTER Opera House
0844 871 3018
ON SALE
Cast Blue

Mon 26 – Sat 31 Mar
NOTTINGHAM Theatre Royal
0115 989 5555
ON SALE
Cast Red

Tue 3 – Sat 7 Apr
BIRMINGHAM New Alexandra Theatre
0844 871 3011
ON SALE
Cast Yellow

Mon 9 – Sat 14 Apr
DARTFORD Orchard Theatre
01322 220000
ON SALE
Cast Green

Thu 19 – Sun 21 Apr
EDINBURGH Playhouse
0844 871 3014
ON SALE
Cast Orange

Tue 24 – Sat 28 Apr
CARDIFF Wales Millennium Centre
029 2063 6464
ON SALE
Cast Green

Mon 30 Apr – Sat 5 May
GLASGOW Kings Theatre
0844 871 7648
ON SALE
Cast Orange

Mon 7 – Sat 12 May
BELFAST Grand Opera House
028 9024 1919
ON SALE
Cast Green

Mon 14 – Sat 19 May
BRADFORD Alhambra Theatre
01274 432000
ON SALE
Cast Yellow

Mon 21 – Sat 26 May
ABERDEEN His Majesty’s Theatre
01224 641122
ON SALE
Cast Orange

Mon 28 May – Sat 2 Jun
BLACKPOOL Winter Gardens
0844 856 1111
ON SALE
Cast Yellow
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