There’s a cer­tain fe­line feel to a fun stage mu­si­cal com­ing to a Kent theatre next week, as

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - What's On - - STAGE - An­gela Cole re­ports

She’s prob­a­bly best known as one-third of suc­cess­ful girl group, Atomic Kit­ten, but Natasha Hamil­ton has been busy beef­ing up her stage ca­reer away from the pop spot­light.

She joins the cast of Kay Mel­lor’s stage show, Fat Friends the Mu­si­cal, which comes to Dart­ford’s Or­chard Theatre next week. The new show, packed with warmth, life and weight loss, re­unites foodie friends in an orig­i­nal mu­si­cal bulging with hopes, hu­mour and heart. The in­fa­mous group of love­able char­ac­ters from Mel­lor’s ITV tele­vi­sion se­ries, which hit our screens in 2000, were Alison Stead­man, Gaynor Faye and Lisa Ri­ley, along with James Cor­den and Ruth Jones.

The stage show picks up with them five years on as they are put through their Zumba paces at their lo­cal branch of Su­per Slim­mers by the lovelorn Lau­ren, while Kelly fan­ta­sises about fit­ting into the wed­ding dress of her dreams.

Just an­nounced to join the cast in Kent, Hamil­ton will star as Ju­lia Flesh­man, af­ter get­ting rave re­views at the start of the tour. Hamil­ton has also starred as Mrs Johnston in Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre and has ap­peared in the tour­ing pro­duc­tion of the high-kick­ing Rent.

She said: “I am thrilled to be able to ex­tend my run with Kay Mel­lor’s Fat Friends the Mu­si­cal.

“The show has had the most amaz­ing re­sponse from au­di­ences, who on their feet ev­ery night. I am lov­ing ev­ery minute of the show and work­ing with such a fab­u­lous cast and I’m re­ally ex­cited to be able to play the role of Ju­lia in more venues around the UK.”

The cast also fea­tures some big names in­clud­ing Jodie Prenger, Joel Mon­tague, Natalie Anderson, and Kent’s own Sam Bai­ley, plus Coro­na­tion Street star Kevin Kennedy.

Pro­duced by Joshua An­drews and Adam Spiegel, with orig­i­nal mu­sic and songs com­posed by Ni­cholas Lloyd Webber, the show is the first stage play di­rected and writ­ten by Mel­lor.

To read our in­ter­view with au­thor Kay Mel­lor on­line, go to ken­ton­ and search Fat Friends.

Natasha Hamil­ton, pic­tured left, joins an all-star cast for Kay Mel­lor’s Fat Friends the Mu­si­cal, which also in­cludes Kent’s own X Fac­tor win­ner Sam Bai­ley, above right

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