The UK premiere production opened on 27 May 2008 (previews from 16 May) at Trafalgar Studios, where it finishes on 6 September, making way for the European premiere of Andrew Upton’s Australian comedy Riflemind, directed by Hollywood’s Philip Seymour Hoffman (See News, 8 Aug 2008). It reopens on 11 September at the Comedy Theatre, also owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group.
Set in a nameless US city, Fat Pig revolves around Tom, who faces the indignation of his friends when he introduces them to his new, super-sized girlfriend Helen. Can Tom come to terms with his own preconceptions of the importance of stereotypical good looks in the face of such disdain?
Nicholas Burns takes over from Robert Webb, of Mitchell and Webb fame, as Tom; Kevin Bishop succeeds Kris Marshall as Tom’s wise-cracking workmate Carter. Burns’ previous credits include The Madness of George Dubya, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Arcadia on stage, and Benidorm, Absolute Power and Nathan Barley on screen. Bishop (pictured) is best known to TV fans for Channel 4 sketch shows The Kevin Bishop Show, Dogface, Spoons and Star Stories. His previous West End credits include Pete & Dud: Come Again, in which he starred as Dudley Moore.
The two female leads – Ella Smith (as Helen) and Gavin and Stacey’s Joanna Page (Jeannie) – remain in the cast in its transfer to the Comedy Theatre, which has been dark since the premature closure of the musical comedy Dickens Unplugged on 29 June (See News, 17 Jun 2008).
Fat Pig premiered at the Off-Broadway MCC Theatre in 2005. This new production is presented by Howard Panter for ATG, Broadway producer Barry Weissler and Anna Waterhouse. It’s directed by author Neil LaBute, whose other plays include The Shape of Things, Some Girls, The Mercy Seat, The Distance from Here, Bash, This Is How It Goes and In a Dark Dark House, which will receive its UK premiere, starring David Morrissey, in November at the Almeida Theatre, where four of his previous plays have had their first UK outings (See News, 27 Jun 2008).
- by Terri Paddock