(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog April 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)
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.
There's another review from another fan here.
Follow Fat Brenda on twitter @fatbrenda and read her Beltin' Blog Posts here.
Follow Steve Huison on twitter @stevevehuison
There will be a national tour (in the UK) so if you're there over the next month or two, check to see if it's playing locally where you'll be!
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