Fat Souls 1993

Fat Souls


Fat Souls won the 1992 International Playwriting Competition at the Warehouse Theatre, Croydon, and was given a rehearsed reading at the climax of that year's International Playwriting Festival.
The cast of the reading were Joanna Brookes (Fat Mags), Raymond Coultard (Lamb), Tom Hayes (Thumb/Lenno), Jason Isaacs (Roar), Rebecca Lacey (Luce), John Levitt (Paterman/Judge), Roger Monk (Barry BJ/Froppage) and Pamela Sholto (Lamb's Mother).
The reading was directed by Richard Osborne.

The play was given a full-scale production at the Warehouse, opening on 23rd April 1993. The cast was as follows:
James Arlon (Roar), Joanna Brookes (Fat Mags), Tom Hayes (Thumb/Lenno), Daniel Matthews - aka Daniel Harcourt (Lamb), Roger Monk (Barry BJ/Froppage), Natalie Ogle (Luce), Pamela Sholto (Lamb's Mother) and Derek Wright (Paterman).
Directed by Ted Craig; Design by Michael Pavelka; Lighting by Douglas Kurt;
Costumes by Lucy Webber; Music by Mia Soteriou.
The masks were half-face transparencies - moulded from casts of the actors' faces - manufactured by the nearby Croydon College.

The Warehouse Fat Souls was a great critical and public success. Both play and production received what can only be described as rave reviews from The Times (Jeremy Kingston), The Independent (Sarah Hemmings), The Sunday Express (Ned Sherrin), What's On (Carole Woddis) and the Independent on Sunday (the veteran critic Irving Wardle). The mood of the critics is best captured by a quote from Kingston's review: "There is simply no mistaking a new voice in the theatre… Charlton’s is a quirky, assured creative voice, consistently theatrical." Time Out were more guarded, seemingly taken aback by the play's visceral qualities - "this is a play to be torn off and swallowed whole in bleeding chunks" and it was left to The Stage, publishing their review in the final week of the run, to be almost entirely negative.

There was some talk of the play transferring, and JMC was invited in for a meeting with the legendary West End producer Michael Codron, who greatly admired the play but couldn't see it, without star names, as West End material. JMC was encouraged by Codron's admiration, as Codron had been instrumental in the early career of JMC's inspiration Joe Orton.

The text of Fat Souls was published in the August 1993 edition of Plays International.

In 2003, JMC and director Benet Catty attempted to revive the play for its 10th anniversary. Unhappily, support for the project was not forthcoming, despire a number of testimonials from Industry figures who saw or were involved with the first production, including one from Michael Codron who wrote:

“Fat Souls was one of the most innovative and original plays I can remember seeing in a long history of going to see new plays."

Fat Souls, despite the enormous critical and audience success of its premier production, has never been revived either professionally or non-professionally.

back to Fat Souls The Play

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