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Published by: Kirstie Niland on 21st Sep 2017 | View all blogs by Kirstie Niland

Blackpool Opera House, until Saturday 23rd September 2017

The fabulously coiffured UK tour of Hairspray arrived in Blackpool this week with an explosion of colour and choreography – and yet another standing ovation at the Opera House.

The Winter Gardens has clearly put the seaside resort firmly on the map as a popular stop-off for sensational shows.

The latest smash hit musical to transform the stunning Opera House stage takes us back to the 60s for the story of Hairspray's loveable heroine Tracy Turnblad. Played by newcomer Rebecca Mendoza with bucket-loads of energy and aplomb, Tracy's passion for dancing catapults her on to national TV, whilst her passion for equality finds her leading the way for black and white teens to dance together on the famous Corny Collins Show. She also lands the local heartthrob Link Larkin (with understudy Daniel Clift stepping expertly into the spotlight for press night).

Layton Williams and Annalise Liard-Bailey are well cast as cute couple Seaweed and Penny, and Lauren Concannon, Melissa Nettleford and Emily-Mae Walker are pure dynamite as…The Dynamites.

The songs are all sensational but my favourite was the duet by Tracy's Mum and Dad, You’re Timeless to Me, performed by a cross-dressing Matt Dixon as Edna and comedian Norman Pace as Wilbur. With lashings of old-time charm and a dance routine reminiscent of Morecambe and Wise this is a classic match made in heaven.


A close second was I Know Where I’ve Been by musical theatre and reality TV star Brenda Edwards as Motormouth Maybelle, whose larger than life stage presence and powerful vocals demonstrate that she truly does have the X Factor.

The entire show keeps us and the energetic cast (literally) on our toes with excellent choreography by Olivier Award-winning Drew McOnie and direction from Paul Kerryson. The costumes and set are bright, bold and beautiful and the result is a kaleidoscope of colour rotating through a fast-moving, feel-good show that has us all cheering and up out of our seats to celebrate the happy ending.

In Maybelle’s words, Hairspray is servin' up the whole damn feast and there’s still time to see it this weekend.

Book tickets here

Tour dates here

Photographs by Darren Bell




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