Last night was press night at The New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham for Hairspray The Musical on it’s UK Tour. Set in the 1960’s Hairspray follows the story of Tracy Turnblad (played by Freya Sutton) as she attempts to dance her way onto the famous Corny Collins show despite looking a little different to the usual cast. Based on the book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan Hairspray touches on issues of segregation, racism and prejudice with a light-hearted, uplifting glitter filled story.
The costumes were possibly the most colourful I’ve seen on stage so far, there were shades of pink and orange I didn’t even know existed before last night! Gigantic perfectly coiffured wigs, big showstopping hits and incredible dancing is the aim of the game with Hairspray and it sure packs a punch with it’s sickly sweet and cheesy smiles, groovy dance moves and some serious voices to boot. Brenda Edwards as Motormouth Maybelle gave me goosebumps whenever she opened her mouth to sing – she blew the rest of the cast (although their standard was also sky high) out the water, outstanding.
I’m a big cheesy musical lover and while I was chuckling away to some parts and bopping along to others there was just something about Hairspray that didn’t quite grab me. I can’t put my finger on why – the staging, the story, the costumes, the voices, the songs everything was great but it failed to give me that buzz I normally get when leaving the theatre after a musical, especially one as bright and as colourful as this. When the last note dropped on Hairspray’s big glitterbomb-filled finale everyone in the theatre jumped to their feet so there’s no denying it’s a corker, it was just missing that ‘x-factor’ for me even though I had an enjoyable night out and I still can’t stop humming those infectiously chipper songs!
Hairspray is at The New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham until the 2nd January and you can buy your tickets from the box office here.
Have you seen Hairspray The Musical? What did you think?
Leave me a comment below or tweet me @xameliax! #hairsprayuktour