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Hairspray - Leeds Grand - Wednesday 21 August 2013

Published by: GRAHAM CLARK on 22nd Aug 2013 | View all blogs by GRAHAM CLARK
Hairspray tells the story of Tracy Turnblad (played superbly by Freya Sutton) who follows her dreams and in the end, gets the man she loves.

Hairspray the Musical

The musical is set in Baltimore in 1962. Tracy dreams of appearing on the Corny Collins TV show , presenter Collins (Charles Ruhrmund) is a cheesy slimeball. Her dreams come a step closer when the TV show organises a talent show sponsored by a Hairspray company, hence the musical's title.

Hairspray Cast

Tracey's mum Edna (played wonderfully by Mark Benton) tries to keep a tight rein on her daughter whilst her dad Wibur (Paul Rider) runs a joke shop - The Har de Har Hut.

The story line does have a serious side to it: that of segregation of black American's in the early 60's. Tracy speaks out about this whilst appearing on the TV show and ends up getting locked up in jail!

The TV's show producer Velma Von  Tussle (played by Lucy Benjamin of Eastenders fame) is desperate to get her daughter Amber (Gemma Sutton) to win the TV talent show. If course as in all happy endings, Tracey gets out of jail and wins the TV Talent show and the man of her dreams - singer Luke Larkin (Luke Striffer). Her black teenage friends even get on the TV show too.

The songs in the show are loosely based on late 1950's American pop songs and add substance to the show.

The comic timing between Mark Benton and Paul Rider in the part of the musical where they perform the song, Timeless To Me, is like a Morecambe and Wise sketch. At one point Benton could not contain his giggles.

Mention too should go to Sandra Marvin who plays Motormouth Maybelle  who has a voice that would shake even Tina Turner's wig!

 This is an uplifting,energetic show that as the musicals finale says You Can't Stop The Beat: there is no stopping this entertaining and joyful Show.

Leeds Grand Theatre - Runs until Saturday 31 August 2013.
 Tickets £19.00-£46.00


1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 4 years ago
    Thanks, Graham. Hairspray has been a huge national hit and clearly went down well in Yorkshire!
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