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Saturday 14 April 2012

Review: Fat Brenda, My Flamin' Story

Last night I attended the premiere of the stage play Fat Brenda, My Flamin' Story. Sitting here at the computer, the morning after the night before attempting to write a review of the show, I just hope I can do it justice because it was Beltin', Absolutely Beltin'.

It's the first play by new playwright Joe Parkinson, a one man show with Brenda played by ex-Corrie actor Steve Huison, who played Eddie Windass on Coronation Street.  For one man to act, sing and dance his way through the business end of 2 hours and keep the audience in the palm of their hand is no mean feat for any actor in any theatre. Steve Huison carried it off in superb style last night.

As a piece of theatre, this new play must surely be unique, a possible world-first. A life-long Corrie fan sets up a twitter account as a fictional soap character that's been often referred to but never seen, starts tweeting to a Corrie actor and the two of them become friends and join forces to create this wonderfully funny play.  It started in Harrogate last night, runs there tonight too, transfers to Manchester and then hopefully will tour later this year.

I can't write too much about the content of the play because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it. But there's a great story to it, and what a story it is. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll dance in your seat.

What I can tell you is that Fat Brenda the stage play is funny, sad - and sometimes both at the same time. It casts Brenda in the light of one of the traditional, strong, feisty, lovable women on which Corrie was built, while giving her a personality and style all of her own. With the playwright being a life-long Corrie fan, his love of the Street shines through. Fat Brenda the stage play is a must for any Corrie fans, whether you follow Fat Brenda on twitter or even if you've never been tempted to twitter yourself.  Brenda is the kind of Corrie women you wish we could see more of on the cobbles these days. You empathise with her right from the start of the play and you're on her side all the way through as she looks for love and a way out of Weatherfield. But as with all Corrie women, there is no way out. Will Brenda be different? You'll have to go to the play and find out.

Fat Brenda, My Flamin' Story gives a respectful nod to Corrie's past, acknowledges its present-day state with a bit of a cuddle and to this fan, is the direction of what Corrie's future should - and very well could - be.

In short, it was one of the most amazing nights of theatre I've ever seen in my life. Unique.

I give it 5 beltin' stars and urge you to see it as soon as you can.

Book your tickets for Harrogate tonight, Saturday 14 April
Book Tickets online now HERE or ring the box office on 01423 502 116

Book your tickets for Manchester on May 24th, here.

Follow Fat Brenda on twitter @fatbrenda  and read her Beltin' Blog Posts here.
Follow Steve Huison on twitter @stevevehuison

Follow the Coronation Street Blog on Twitter and Facebook


bbhilda said...

Great review Flaming Nora, I so wish I could see this play, but alas I am in Canada. I have followed Fat Brenda on Twitter for a while now, and love her. I am sure Steve did a brilliant job with the role.

I love the way we never see her on the show though, it's enough for me that they mention her frequently. I am sure we all have a picture of her in our minds, and I for one am happy for her to stay there.

The stage is different though, and I for one would love to see Steve's portrayal of her.

Anna in nz said...

I would so love to see it, unfortunately I'm overseas and not coming over until summer.

I love fat Brenda's blog posts too, they're hilarious.


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