Mention Hairspray the movie, in our house and the husband right on cue (he has never let me down yet), will share his story about how he lived on the street in Canada where the 2007 movie was filmed.  

So, it’s no surprise that during the car journey to the opening performance of Hairspray the musical, on a cold dark Monday evening complete with snow flurries, traffic jams and more red traffic lights that you could shake a stick at, that he would relate his story.

With music by Marc Sharman and lyrics by Sharman and Scott Whitman, the musical Hairspray is set in 1960s Baltimore and tells the story of teenager Tracy Turnblad, who’s dream is to be a dancer on the Corny Collins television show. Tracy’s shape, personality and passion for social integration sets her apart from the other girls. Will this be enough for Tracy to clinch the title of Miss Teen Hairspray from her rival Amber Von Tussle and the heart of her idol Link Larkin?

When the brightly coloured costumes, designed by Takis, were combined with wigs and hairstyles of the era, I felt I was being “welcomed into the 60s.”

Matt Rixon as Edna Turnbald and Graham MacDuff as Wilbur Turnbald, created moments that were tender and very funny, particularly when prop failure resulted in quick witted ad-libs between the couple.

Brenda Edwards’s (Motormouth Maybelle), rousing rendition of I know where I have been, was very well received by the audience.

The stand out performance for both of us was from Layton Williams as Seaweed, who’s energetic dance routines were captivating.

Rosie o’ Hare as Tracy Turnbald created a character that was warm, likeable and funny.  I felt she struggled with the final song of the show, you can’t stop the beat, sounding breathless at times during her solo sections.  However, this was quickly rescued by the strong ensemble who by the end of the number, had the Wolverhampton crowd on their feet, and I for one believed and didn’t want to stop the beat.

Hairspray is at the Grand Theatre Wolverhampton until the 3rd March then continues its UK tour.

We would like to thank Scott from the Grand theatre for the support he has given to the launch of Theatretastic.


Theatretastic rating 4/5:


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