Helen Orton used to be an overweight woman with confidence issues stemming from her body. One day she woke up and decided she would lose six and a half stone in a bid to have satisfying sex with men of a higher calibre. Eight months, five hundred calories a day and a brief trip to the hospital later and she had done it. Orton is now skinnier, wiser and primed for an energy sapping, twenty five day run of Fat Girl Slim: a one woman stand up show that gleefully and repeatedly stomps all over a relatively sensitive issue.
The manner in which the sold out audience not only stay with, but as good as hang off Orton’s every word despite the raw subject matter pays testament to her engaging style.
As a comedian, Orton bares similarities in delivery and subject matter to Isy Suttie (Dobby from Peep Show). Jokes about clothing dilemmas and “pie” charts tumble out of her as quickly as some particularly bold audience interaction. Where most comedians are content to split the audience along the border, Orton opts for fat and thin. Slight awkward shuffling turns into averted eyes and bitten lips when the audience is asked “Have we got any lower working class fat in?”
The manner in which the sold out audience not only stay with, but as good as hang off Orton’s every word despite the raw subject matter pays testament to her engaging style. The jokes and hashtags that come thick and fast throughout the performance are in a way secondary to Orton’s story. In much the same way that a Sarah Millican audience leaves sympathising with her muffin top, Orton ingratiated herself with a genuinely touching tale of a miserable woman ousting her demons.