As the curtain lifts to reveal a line up of jiggling backsides clad in a brightly coloured array of lycra, you can’t help but crack a smile and it perfectly sets the fun, light-hearted tone for the rest of the show.
The toe-tapping opening number introduces the bulk of the main characters as they’re put through their Zumba paces by the lovable Super Slimmer’s leader, Lauren, and as they pranced around I suddenly began to feel very guilty about watching from my seat armed with a giant doughnut.
In keeping with the television series, each character has their own reasons for losing weight – from winning back a wife, to being crowned Slimmer of the Year – but the central plot focuses around young Kelly (Jodie Prenger) as she desperately tries to drop two dress sizes in time for her wedding.
Watching her battle with too tight zippers and her self-esteem in the dress shop is both hilarious and startlingly familiar, and if the laughs from the audience are anything to go by, it’s an experience the majority of us has gone through.
The weekly weigh-ins are equally amusing, with the characters trying everything from stripping off to their last garment, to standing on the scales on one leg in an effort to make themselves lighter – a futile trick I’m sure many of us have tried at one point or another.
Of course the show does have its darker moments, with job loss, relationship woes and extreme dieting wreaking havoc in more life than one, but such is the lovable nature of the characters, you can’t help but sit and root for them to come out on top.
Jodie Prenger stands out in the role of the soon-to-be bride and her blasé attitude towards dieting, which is hammered home in the crowd rousing ‘Diets Are Crap’, instantly wins her favour with the audience.
Freddie Flintoff nails his role as the dopey but lovable fiancé, and both Neil Hurst and Rachael Wooding provide plenty of comic relief with their self-mocking humour and witty one liners.
And amid the catchy, tongue-in-cheek songs, composed by Nick Lloyd Webber, you can expect to hear a healthy bout of colourful language which, in true Yorkshire style, doesn’t beat around the bush.
It’s a charming, fun and wonderfully relatable story that will likely strike a chord with everyone and while the tale may centre around dropping the pounds, the ultimate message is to love who you are.
So grab a tub of ice cream, break open a bag of sweets, tuck in and enjoy – happy and guilt-free.
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