Writer: Maria Ferguson
Director: Lucy Bairstow
Reviewer: Laura Hibbert
Blending theatre, storytelling, and movement, Fat Girls Don’t Dance is Maria Ferguson’s debut, one-woman, autobiographical show, exploring her relationship with food and her desire to be on stage, through the help of her first love – dance.
Speaking, singing and dancing her way through difficult scenarios of her own life, Ferguson provides a fresh and personal account about the realities of eating disorders and the importance of positive body image. With drunken dance-offs, Christmas binges and nightmare auditions, Ferguson displays a strength in her vulnerability and indisputable talent in her performance.
A writer and performer from Essex, Ferguson trained at East 15 Acting School and has performed extensively across the UK. Utilising all of her learned disciplines; tap, ballet, contemporary andnightclub dancing, Ferguson fights to challenge the typical aesthetic of dancers. Through cleverly choreographed movements and inspiring rhythmic verse, Ferguson proves herself a triple threat in an industry where, in her own words, you can be ‘too fat to play pretty, and too pretty to play fat’.
Advertised with the promise of cake, a small break in performance is a welcomed treat and gives the audience a chance to share a mutual appreciation of all things sugary, before Ferguson continues to share her story of eating routines and dance routines, in a way only she can.
Although Ferguson’s first time at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the show has previously been performed at sold-out venues and at festivals across the country. Despite this, it was evident to see, from her humble reaction to a well-deserved standing ovation, that she truly puts her heart and soul on a plate with this show. It certainly is a feast of honesty, humour and emotion, which must be had.
Runs until 28 August 2016 | Image: Contributed