A Body to Die[t] for

If musical theatre was a sandwich, plot would be the pickle artfully placed on the side of the plate. Always a nice thing to have, interesting when done right, but ultimately not all that necessary. The indisputable necessity of every musical is good music. TKD Productions’ new musical unfortunately fails the all important test. I couldn’t remember, let alone hum, a single song from A Body to Die[t] For. This is a shame, because it features a talented young cast and an important subject: weight and society’s attitude towards it. The plot is a perfectly silly, perfectly serviceable piece of musical theatre nonsense. With better music and slightly fresher wit, this already reasonably charming musical could have amounted to so much more.

The show’s characters, like its props, resemble paper cut-outs a little too closely. Of course there is nothing wrong with a cheerfully cartoonish villain or a paper phone, although during one scene I worried that the wobbly paper candelabra on the table might face-plant. Body tells the story of Greta, an average-weight teenager with a difficult stepfather and a uncaring mum. Greta runs away from home, loses weight and is discovered by a top modeling agent. Then she and her hapless lover-boy-next-door Tony get mixed up with a variety of radicals, politicians, and mad scientists. Thanks to a good deal of meddling by this motley bunch, Greta fluctuates from thin to fat to average once again. The decision to have three actresses play Greta is an odd one, as the show is trying to make the point that Greta is always the same person for Tony, no matter what she weighs.

A Body to Die[t] For wants to have its cake and eat it too. However, it finds it can’t be politically incisive and politically correct. Having said that, had Body lead with memorable music, the audience would have swallowed anything, but the show doesn’t quite have the savvy or the songs. Although I found myself laughing at quite a few lyrics, the writers could do with a lesson from Cole Porter: the trick, (and it’s a difficult one), is matching your amusing lyrics to a perfectly fitting and maddeningly unforgettable tune.

Most of the show’s more amusing jokes were sung; the actors had a tendency to throw away their spoken jokes as if embarrassed by them. They may well have been so, as these days I don’t think there’s anything inherently hilarious about a gay man coming out, or anything outrageously shocking about a lesbian couple. The show falls down the hardest when it tried to be the most radical. The political humour, with its stale references to the Bullingdon club and radical feminist Wiccans, feels uncomfortably out of date.

The cast are all enthusiastic singers and comedians and the music is ably provided by a two-person band. Nearly every number features some earnest belting and sparkly chimes. A particular standout was Sam Turrell, who made an endearing Tony. His whole-hearted delivery of stupendously silly lines like ‘I’m running away to join the Body Liberationists!’ provided the show’s best moments. In general, the show worked when it stopped trying so hard to say something and relaxed into its absurd characters and situations, such as the scenes involving a cat-stroking mad scientist, which the audience absolutely loved.

A Body to Die[t] For, is much like fast food; it’s enjoyable at the time but ultimately forgettable.

Reviews by Lauren Moreau


Near Gone

Dance Base

An Invitation...

Greenside @ Nicolson Square

She Loves Me

Pommery Champagne Cafe Bar

Champagne Tutored Tasting


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now


The Blurb

Exploited by fashionistas, hounded by hacks, betrayed by lovers, entrapped by body liberationists - will Greta ever find the normality and true love she yearns for? Darkly comic and uplifting new coming-of-age musical. www.abodytodietfor.com

Most Popular See More

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £46.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets