Choreographer: Lea Anderson
Reviewer: Matt Forrest
Scottee: Fat Blokes’ poster claims it’s a dance show of sorts, but in reality, it’s so much more than that: a rebellion, a call to arms, call it what you will, but certainly don’t call it ‘brave’. This is a cabaret show like no other: sure, there is dance, comedy, even a spot of lip syncing, however, this is five performers bearing their souls about what it is to be gay and fat (as they put it) in modern Britain.
The evening gets off to a rocky start as we see a large bearded man taking centre stage, performing a dance. The routine is suddenly brought to a halt as the show’s troupe leader Scottee demands to know “What’s so funny?” lambasting the audience for sniggering…. the fact that no one in the audience was sniggering at this point means the show gets off to a slightly more uncomfortable start then what was probably intended.
Soon all five performers, Sam Buttery, Joe Spencer, Asad Ullah, Gez Mez, and Scottee begin a routine which draws heavily from the title sequence of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs,all white shirts, black ties and some killer strutting.
Each member of the group gets to tell their own unique story, sometimes funny, often heartbreaking, but always tender. We hear experiences of bullying, rejection and at times violence that are performed beautifully and poignantly by all five actors. The performance also addresses some of the social, economic and mental health issues that contribute to obesity in this country, highlighting why we shouldn’t be so quick to judge and jump to conclusions.
The dance routines provide a welcome respite from each monologue, with Lea Anderson’s choreography showcasing the five plus-sized dance skills, the highlight being the groups interpretation of the famous 2008 Diet Coke Advert, although instead of one ‘hunk’ you get five! However, it does have a serious message behind it, attacking the diet industry and their attempts to push diet drinks and pills down our throats.
This is a joyous production that wears its heart on its sleeve. There were a few technical issues which the cast brushed over and got on with show at hand, which in many ways added to its charm and was in keeping with the theme of the production: we may have our flaws, but we are all beautiful people who should be proud of ourselves.
Runs until the 23 March 2019 | Image: Contributed