Number one recording artist Sam Bailey, who rose to fame winning the tenth series of The X Factor, will join Jodie Prenger in the original British musical Fat Friends – The Musical. Sam will share the much loved role of Betty, originated on screen by Alison Steadman, with award-winning comedian and actress Elaine C Smith (Two Doors Down, Rab C Nesbitt). Elaine will step into the role during three Scottish dates in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
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.
Sam Bailey shot into the hearts of the nation in 2013, when the former Prison Officer won ITV’s The X Factor and reached Christmas number one with her first single, Skyscraper. She has gone on to receive public acclaim for her role as Mama Morton in the recent UK tour of Chicago.
Produced by Joshua Andrews and Adam Spiegel, with original music by Nicholas Lloyd Webber, Fat Friends – The Musical will open at Leeds Grand Theatre in November ahead of an extensive UK tour, arriving in Bradford from Monday 14 to Saturday 19 May 2018.
Sam Bailey said, “I’m absolutely delighted to have been cast as Betty in Fat Friends – The Musical. I loved the show when it was on ITV and I feel so honoured to be working with such a talented group of people. I know I am going to learn so much from Kay and Nicholas and I can’t wait to start rehearsals.”
Kay Mellor said, “I was absolutely delighted when we announced Jodie Prenger would lead the cast for Fat Friends – The Musical, she’s the perfect fit to bring Kelly to life on stage and I can’t wait to see her in action. It fills me with pride to know that the musical will be seen by audiences across the nation with such a talented cast. I watched every episode of The X Factor when Sam was in it, because to me she was an ordinary woman. A mother and a wife who had the voice of an angel and a wonderfully warm personality. It was one of those rare times that I actually picked up the phone and voted. I auditioned Sam for about one minute for Fat Friends the Musical - as soon as she said my words and I looked in her eyes, I knew that she understood the character of Betty. She is an instinctive actress that will bring great depth and warmth to the character. “
With original music and songs composed by Nicholas Lloyd Webber, designed by Bretta Gerecke, 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.
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 Slimmers 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. 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.