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Theatre Review: The Slightly Fat Show @ Leicester Square Theatre


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Host Goronwy Thom explains at the beginning the show is an attempt "to bring cabaret into the 21st Century". It doesn't, but you don't really want it to. 

The Slightly Fat Show, performed in two parts by the touring troupe Slightly Fat Features is a throwback to a good old-fashioned British variety show. You could imagine a grandparent of yours walking down a promenade to see it in the 1940s or 50s.

It has everything you could want - slapstick humour, magic, escapology and does everything really well. The humour isn't overly complicated, it's quite simple, basic, sometimes even crude and therein lies it's beauty. It's a relaxed, easy-to-follow show with a feel-good vibe. 

You're not expecting a lot of what happens, sometimes because you're looking for something more complicating and sometimes from the cast's unpredictably. 

There's a fair bit of audience interaction, at least four members of the audience will come up to the stage to help out at some point. You'll have props chucked at you and if you're lucky some crisps so you can have a light snack during the second half.

Robert Lee and Matt Barnard (who is described as a fat Aled Jones) provide the live music and it is on point without. Barnard performs in several scenes himself and transitions smoothly from musician to actor/performer.

Jon Hicks (The Slammer) is in non-speaking roles throughout, so his characterisation involves rather melodramatic scenes, such as a sad bunny and a knife-wielding psychopath.

Herbie Treehead (Xperimental) is in the show as a rather eccentric Northern lad, he'll perform a song for you, going on a rather long complicated song that has nothing to do with the song, about the sun and the moon and being happy, which fits in the rest of the show. An optimistic song, which may sound ridiculous, but leaves you feeling good.

Gareth Jones (Doctor Who Audios) and Richard Garaghty (Doctor Who, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) make up the rest of the cast. Jones is jovial throughout, epitomised in the last scene with his Dirk The Daring character. Richard meanwhile would bemoan the fact he doesn't have a good agent. Singing in the Rain, song by Treehead, turning into Dying in a Box

Thom hosts a fantastic night, with quintessential cabaret showbiz panache. His humour is warm, and the cast is fantastic at everything they do, even though there are some deliberate mishaps, which adds to the atmosphere. 

Some of the performances will generally amaze you, some will warm your heart and some will have you in fits of uncontrollable laughter. The show seems to go really quickly and is driven by the audience, who have the opportunity to influence what goes on stage. 

For a cabaret show, it quite simply ticks all the boxes and does it in some style. A must see for anyone who wants a good simple night of comedy. 

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