Belfast Telegraph

Slimmer for Christmas review: Leesa Harker's rabble-rousing romp's a little lighter on belly laughs

By Andrew Johnston

Hot on the heels of 50 Shades of Red, White and Blue and Dirty Dancin' in le Shebeen comes homegrown playwright Leesa Harker's latest rabble-rousing romp.

Though again directed by Andrea Montgomery, the brilliant Caroline Curran is relegated to a supporting role this time round, with lead duties going to the similarly expressive Julie Maxwell, as Sami Salt.

The lovelorn X-Files fan is on a mission to lose 20lbs by Christmas and bag her boss, the snobby - but handsome - Mark Bond.

Worried she is going to have "thunder thighs and 20 chins by the time I'm 50", it doesn't stop Sami popping Maltesers and glugging lambrusco like they're going out of style.

Slimmer for Christmas isn't as crude as Harker's previous efforts, and, with that, not as sharp.

The Belfast-born writer has a keen understanding of her target demographic, setting the story in the 1980s and 1990s, when many in the audience would - like her characters - have been students or starting in the workplace.

The rapid-fire dialogue got nostalgic chuckles from last night's packed house and the scenes were punctuated by period pop songs that kept punters tapping their toes.

Slimmer for Christmas may be lighter on belly laughs than Harker's previous efforts, but there is still plenty to get your teeth into.

Three stars

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