Emmerdale and The Royal star Natalie Anderson will join the cast of Fat Friends – The Musical. Natalie has appeared in numerous other television programmes including Wire in the Blood and The Biz. She also appeared as Nessarose in Wicked in the West End as well as Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet at West Yorkshire Playhouse and Tara in Exposure The Musical at St James’ Theatre. She will perform the role of Lauren in Fat Friends – The Musical, originated on-screen by Emmerdale co-star Gaynor Faye.
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, whose extensive television credits include hit series of Band of Gold, The Chase, The Syndicate, In the Club and whose stage credits include A Passionate Woman. The award-winning Jodie Prenger will lead the company in the beloved role of Kelly Stevenson. She is joined by Sam Bailey, Elaine C Smith and Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff with further casting still to be announced.
Natalie Anderson said “I’m so thrilled to be playing Lauren in Fat Friends the Musical. I was a huge fan of the original series and cannot wait to bring it to life on stage. I’m also equally excited to be working with the incredible Kay Mellor whom, from an early age, I have greatly admired and been inspired by.”
Kay Mellor said “I am absolutely delighted to be working with fellow northerner Natalie. I thought of her instantly for the role of Lauren and she brought me to tears at her audition with her acting and singing talent.”
The ‘weight’ is over; Packed full of warmth, life and weight loss, his 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!
Produced by Joshua Andrews and Adam Spiegel, Fat Friends – The Musical will open at Leeds Grand Theatre in November ahead of an extensive UK tour, visiting Bromley, Newcastle, Hull, Southampton, Sheffield, Southend, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Dartford, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Glasgow, Bradford, Aberdeen and Blackpool.
With original music and songs composed by Nicholas Lloyd Webber, designed by Bretta Gerecke, 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 stage.
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, 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.
Dates and venues for the tour can be found online: www.fatfriendsthemusical.com