Producer Joshua Andrews is delighted to announce star casting for the UK and Ireland tour of Kay Mellor’s smash hit Fat Friends the Musical. With original music by Nick Lloyd Webber, the tour will open at Dartford Orchard Theatre on 14 January 2022. Joining the previously announced Lee Mead as ‘Kevin’ will be Sherrie Hewson as ‘Julia’, Jessica Ellis as ‘Kelly’ and Les Dennis as ‘Fergus’. Marc Akinfolarin also joins the cast as ‘Alan’ with Alex–May Roberts as ‘Val’. Further casting to be announced soon.
Kay Mellor said today: ‘I am thrilled with the amazing star cast we have assembled for our second outing of Fat Friends The Musical. Lee Mead and Jessica Ellis are fantastic performers and will be wonderful as Kevin and Kelly, and it’s great to be welcoming two iconic actors, Sherrie Hewson and Les Dennis who first worked together 40 years ago and are now reunited on stage’.
Lee Mead is a much loved actor of stage and screen. Having won the nations hearts when they voted him their Joseph in BBC One’s ‘Any Dream Will Do’, Lee has gone on to star in the West End in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’, ‘Legally Blonde’ and ‘Wicked’ before establishing himself as a TV favourite on ‘Casualty’ and then ‘Holby City’ in the role of Lofty.
Sherrie Hewson is probably best known as the iconic Maureen Holdsworth in ITV’s ‘Coronation Street’ and Joyce Temple-Savage in six series of ‘Benidorm’. Her other TV credits include ‘Russ Abbot’s Madhouse’ and ten years as the comedy cornerstone of ‘Loose Women’. No stranger to the stage, her many theatre credits include ‘Stepping Out’, ‘Billy Liar’, ‘Run For Your Wife’ and ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’.
Jessica Ellis played Tegan Lomax in Channel 4’s ‘Hollyoaks’ for five years. She most recently filmed the feature film ‘Catherine Called Birdy’, written and directed by Lena Dunham. She has appeared on stage in ‘Bedroom Farce’ at Theatre by the Lake and in three Old Vic New Voices productions in New York. Fat Friends marks her musical theatre debut.
Les Dennis most recently starred as Wilbur in ‘Hairspray’ opposite Michael Ball at the London Coliseum. His other West End credits include Amos Hart in ‘Chicago’ and Bill in ‘Me and My Girl’. His touring theatre credits include ‘Art’, ‘Legally Blonde’, ‘High School Musical 2’ and Uncle Fester in the musical comedy ‘The Addams Family’. His many TV credits include Michael Rodwell in ‘Coronation Street’ and a fictional version of himself in ‘Extras’.
The musical toured the UK to a rapturous response from critics and sell out audiences in 2017 and is based on the hit ITV show Fat Friends, that starred James Corden and Ruth Jones. Fat Friends – The Musical reunites our favourite foodie friends as they are put through their Zumba paces at their local slimming club, whilst Kelly fantasises about fitting into the wedding dress of her dreams. Full of hope, humour, love and weight loss, the show delivers a tasty treat of fun and laughter and encourages us all, as the final song sings, to Love Who You Are!
Fat Friends the Musical is created, directed and has a book and lyrics by the multi award winning Kay Mellor, whose latest hit series of The Syndicate recently ran on BBC One. It has Music by Nicholas Lloyd Webber with Set and Costume design by Bretta Gerecke. Choreography is by Karen Bruce, Sound by Ben Harrison, Lighting by Nick Richings with Orchestrations, Arrangements and Musical Supervision by Simon Lee, Casting by Stephen Crockett CDG for David Grindrod Associates, with Additional Casting by David Shaw CDG for David Shaw Casting. It is produced by Joshua Andrews and Rollem Productions.
For more information visit http://www.fatfriendsmusical.com
FRIDAY 14 JANUARY – SATURDAY 15 JANUARY 2022
The Orchard Theatre, Dartford
TUESDAY 18 JANUARY – SATURDAY 22 JANUARY 2022
New Theatre, Cardiff
(Lee Mead will not perform on Saturday 22 January 2022)
MONDAY 24 JANUARY – SATURDAY 29 JANUARY 2022
Theatre Royal, Nottingham
MONDAY 31 JANUARY – SATURDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2022
The Lyceum, Sheffield
MONDAY 7 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2022
King’s Theatre, Glasgow
MONDAY 14 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2022
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
MONDAY 21 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 5 MARCH 2022
Leeds Grand Theatre
MONDAY 7 MARCH – SATURDAY 12 MARCH 2022
Edinburgh Festival Theatre
MONDAY 14 MARCH – SATURDAY 19 MARCH 2022
The Orchard Theatre, Dartford
TUESDAY 29 MARCH – SATURDAY 2 APRIL 2022
The Alexandra, Birmingham
MONDAY 4 APRIL – SATURDAY 9 APRIL 2022
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
MONDAY 11 APRIL – SATURDAY 16 APRIL 2022
The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
MONDAY 25 APRIL – SATURDAY 30 APRIL 2022
Norwich Theatre Royal
TUESDAY 3 MAY – SATURDAY 7 MAY 2022
Southend Cliffs Pavilion
MONDAY 9 MAY – SATURDAY 14 MAY 2022
MONDAY 16 MAY – SATURDAY 21 MAY 2022
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin
ON SALE SOON
MONDAY 23 MAY – SATURDAY 28 MAY 2022
MONDAY 30 MAY – SATURDAY 4 JUNE 2022
The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
MONDAY 6 JUNE – SATURDAY 11 JUNE 2022
The Lowry, Salford
MONDAY 13 JUNE – SATURDAY 18 JUNE 2022
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
(Jessica Ellis will not perform on Saturday 18 June 2022)
MONDAY 20 JUNE – SATURDAY 25 JUNE 2022
Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury
MONDAY 27 JUNE – SATURDAY 2 JULY 2022
Theatre Royal, Plymouth
MONDAY 4 JULY – SATURDAY 9 JULY
MONDAY 11 JULY – SATURDAY 16 JULY 2022
Venue Cymru, Llandudno
ON SALE SOON
MONDAY 18 JULY – SATURDAY 23 JULY
Hull New Theatre
Photo credit: Michael Wharley