Fat’s how to do it as Jo’s show hits Fringe

A scene from FAT: The Musical
A scene from FAT: The Musical

A young performer from Grangemouth is taking her production, ‘FAT: The Musical’, to the Edinburgh Fringe to highlight some heavy issues.

Joanne Sharp (21) will make her Fringe debut at the Clouds and Soil, Leith Walk, next month, but she and creative partner Craig Manson have already performed their comedy musical-with-a-message earlier in the year.

Jo said: “That was in a theatre, but we’re playing the Fringe in a pub so we’ve had to change things around a little – taking out the in-jokes about the theatre and other things.

“I’ve been to the Fringe a few times to see various productions and I thought ‘I could do this’.”

The former Grangemouth High School pupil is currently in the second year of her contemporary performance practice course at Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and wants to create and produce more of her own theatre shows in the future and also work with children.

She sees her latest production as a poke in the eye to the promotion of perfect bodies and the way the media blatantly applies pressure on how we should look.

“The word fat has come to mean bad things,” said Jo. “Like being lazy, useless and undesirable. We want to reclaim that word. We did a lot of research into the issue beforehand and it’s something that effects everyone, not just young girls.

“Fat is a state of mind and not the shape of your body.”

The musical is full of “exquisitely bad jokes”, promising to be “an uplifting comedy adventure that comes dangerously close to taking itself seriously” and aims to show people how to find “joy and satisfaction in life without a thigh gap”.

After the summer holidays Jo hopes to take a version of ‘FAT: The Musical’ into local schools to get the positive message it contains across to the people who need to hear it most, teenagers who are just starting to become aware of the body image obsessed world they live in.

‘FAT: The Musical’ is free and performed from 4.45 p.m. at the Clouds and Soil from August over seven successive evenings.