Hairspray The Musical: Review

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‘Integration not segregation’ – Hairspray The Musical brings education and entertainment to the Regent Theatre in Hanley.

Based on the hit film, Hairspray The Musical follows the optimistic and lively Tracy Turnblad (Rosie O’Hare), from Baltimore, and her dream to dance on national TV.

Tracy aims to win the heart of teen idol, Link Larkin (Dan Partridge), but her new-found fame soon takes on a greater purpose of fighting segregation.

Hairspray is a bold, bubbly and cheeky musical. It perfectly balances humour, mainly from Tracy’s hefty mother Edna Turnbland (Matt Rixon), with its overall message of striving to break down prejudice.

Tracy faces obstacles to her dream of full integration along the way, thanks to television show producer, Velma Von Tussle (Gina Murray), who is determined to keep The Corny Collins Show an exclusively white programme. Velma is nasty and manipulative, playing the pantomime baddy role, which draws laughs from the crowd when her schemes don’t go to plan.

With the help of her friend, Penny Pingleton (Annalise Liard-Bailey) and parents, Edna and Wilbur Turnbland (Graham Macduff), Tracy successfully secures the Miss Hairspray title and the end of segregation on The Corny Collins Show.

Drew McOnie’s choreography keeps the show swinging, complemented by Taki’s bright and colourful costumes that take us back to the psychedelic sixties.

Directed by Paul Kerryson, Hairspray is a feel good show. With memorable songs such as ‘Good Morning Baltimore’, ‘Welcome to the 60s’ and ‘You can’t stop the beat’ the audience’s feet are soon tapping along from the start.

The final performance of ‘You can’t stop the beat’, by the whole cast, earned a standing ovation from the audience who were eager to join in and dance!

Hairspray is at the Regent Theatre from 12-16 June 2018. For tickets, more information, and more shows check out the website for more details.

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