Selina Thompson’s Chewing the Fat: Vital and Vibrant

Chewing the Fat is about body image. It’s about accepting fat and talking about fat.

Chewing the Fat is about body image. It’s about accepting fat and talking about fat. It does not endorse the opinions of any of the following: Jennifer Lawrence, Gok Wan, Germaine Greer, Selina’s mum, your mum, or actually, anyone who isn’t 24-year old performance artist and theatre maker, Selina Thompson.

A riveting autobiography

This is, unapologetically, a solo show about one woman’s experience of her body, from being a child, to leaving university and beginning her life as an artist. 

Because, in her own words, Selina is not chubby. She isn’t curvy, there isn’t “more to love”, and she isn’t jolly. What she is, is fat. But that doesn’t need to be a bad thing. 

This show isn’t about anorexia, bulimia, fat acceptance, the beauty myth, feminism, the fashion industry, weight loss, or about how you should feel about your body. It is, however, a funny, encouraging, heartbreaking, unique, and astounding piece of storytelling and performance art, that will leave you uplifted, thoughtful, and thoroughly glad you were watching.

A feast for the senses

The easiest label to pin on Selina’s work is performance art, but that doesn’t really do her show justice. Chewing the Fat is part art, part theatre, part stand-up comedy, part story-telling, and part an outer-body experience of watching a tea party through a wonderfully thoughtful looking glass.

Featuring popping balloons, a teapot filled with crumbs that sparkle, a rice-pudding piñata,  and a deeply moving cleansing experience using Lush bathing products, every one of the five senses is put to good use.

Because of this, Selina’s performance is all-encompassing. The audience really is wholly welcomed into a world of glorious people, lifelong body issues, life-affirming successes, trials, tribulations, and triumphs. 

An important subject

Personally, I have never experienced the issue of body image approached in this way before. Chewing the Fat is an experience that’s as unique and inspiring as its creator, and this insightful piece stays with you long after you’ve left the theatre. 

The issues of fat, food, and body acceptance will resonate with both men and women across generations, and this show brings us all back to our childhood of midnight feasts, and our adulthood of counting calories. 

During this piece you will laugh, you will be silent, you will think, feel, be troubled, and enjoy. Selina is uncompromising in her approach to the issues of fat and being fat. She is an in-yer-face performer with the kindness and joy of a mother, an innate gift for storytelling, and a belief system that’s perceptive beyond her years.

Shared stories

Every one of us has a story about food. Whether it’s eating ice-cream on the beach as a child, being called fat in the playground at school, skipping meals because we were busy, counting calories, or going out with a group of friends for the best Birthday meal ever, food is an integral part of all of our lives.

As such, this piece is a story for everyone. At 24-years-old, Selina creates and performs with the confidence of a seasoned professional. 

Chewing the Fat is now starting its UK tour, and if you see one show this year, make it this one. Performers like Selina come along only once or twice in every generation, and sometimes not at all.

If this show is anything to go by, then she has a long and successful career ahead of her, and all of us will be better off because of it.

NB: Chewing the Fat is on tour this Autumn. For dates and tickets visit – have your say on the show in the comments section below.