• Ashlie Bedwell

Fatty Fat Fat by Katie Greenall - Thoughts on the Playtext(Salamander Street Publishing)


This Playscript is a clear battle cry against a society that has forced shame on fat bodies for too long. As an owner of a ‘Fat Body’ myself, I recognise personally the struggles that the script highlights. Each motif created throughout the piece is relatable and holds a penetrable honestly that, I can imagine, forces the audience to live the experience that Katie is describing.

In the author’s note Katie states that ‘The show was created as[…] a revolution to (literally) take up the space nobody has ever wanted to give’. This idea of taking up space is prominent throughout the text and the audience are confronted with a mixture of party atmosphere and hard-hitting truths. In this text, the balance between the two leaves the reader imagining an atmosphere where the tension is palpable. With a tactful use of comedy, Katie lulls the audience into a comfortable party space, only to interrupt this joyfulness with a hard to swallow reality. This pattern is reminiscent of the lived experience of fatness; whilst there are moments of joy and acceptance, moments of anguish and self-annihilation are always present.

There are several particular moments in the text that stand out for me. The first being the scene in which the audience member is bought on stage to play ‘Doctor’. This section tackles a particularly dangerous aspect of institutionalised fat phobia which is often not addressed. It gives the audience members that have not necessarily experienced fat phobia an insight into how dangerous it really can be. Towards the end, the ‘Never have I ever’ section also forces the audience to feel what Katie is feeling. The image of her overwhelmed with crisps is a clear vignette of how food can overwhelmingly become a part of a ‘Fat’ person’s life. The audience are given a direct choice whether to stand by her or become passive in her suffering, once again highlighting the need for solidarity.

Overall the piece is triumphant battle cry against fat phobia and brings a sense of reckless positivity. As a fat person reading this text I do not feel as if I must love my body every moment of everyday, but that I should be kinder and more generous with myself. The overarching message is that fat bodies should not be the subject of political debate, but that they should be reclaimed by their owners. Katies work is not just for fat bodies though, it is a practical tutorial for anyone to understand the experience of body image and acceptance. This piece is a manual and reminder that we should all be kinder to ourselves and the people that we share the world with.

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