It’s Baltimore 1962, where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV. Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for equality, bagging local heartthrob Link Larkin along the way.
Hairspray is based on the 1988 film of the same name which starred Divine and Ricki Lake by cult filmmaker John Waters. Hairspray originally opened to rave reviews on Broadway in 2002 and subsequently won eight Tony Awards. The production opened in London at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2007 and won four Olivier Awards including Best New Musical. Proving to be an international success, Hairspray has also opened in South Africa, Japan, South Korea, China and Dubai. Following the musical’s phenomenal success on stage, a re-make of the film was released in 2007 which starred John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Zac Efron.
Musical theatre star and television presenter Brenda Edwards (Chicago, We Will Rock You, The X Factor, Loose Women and Songs of Praise) will star as Motormouth Maybelle in the UK and Ireland tour of Hairspray. Comedy legend Norman Pace (ITV's The Hale and Pace Show) will play Wilbur Turnblad alongside West End leading man Alex Bourne (Annie, Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You) as Edna Turnblad when the show arrives in Liverpool on the 30 August 2021.
Katie Brace will make her professional stage debut as Tracy Turnblad with Rebecca Thornhill as Velma, Richard Meek as Corny Collins, Ross Clifton as Link Larkin, Jessica Croll as Amber Von Tussle, Rebecca Jane Davies as Penny Pingleton and Charlotte St. Croix as Little Inez.
The full cast includes: Elizabeth Armstrong, Bernadette Bangura, Natalia Brown, Shaquille Brush, Liam Dean, Andrew Dillion, Amandla Elynah, Zoe Heighton, Ceris Hine, Paul Hutton, Jamie Jonathan, Hayley Johnston, Joshua Nkemdilim, Rosie O’Hare, Alexanda O’Reilly, Joshua Pearson, Joseph Poulton and Elliotte Williams-N’Dure.
Hairspray is directed by Paul Kerryson with choreography by Drew McOnie, designs by Takis, lighting design by Philip Gladwell and sound design by Ben Harrison.
Producers Mark Goucher and Matthew Gale are now re-launching their touring production of Hairspray which had been due to begin performances in August 2020 but was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Goucher’s independent producing company will tour two musicals, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Hairspray across the UK this summer with the support of the UK government’s Cultural Recovery Fund.
Following on from two extremely successful Hairspray tours in 2015/16 and 2017/18, this smash hit production will visit the following venues in 2021: Theatre Royal Plymouth, Cheltenham Everyman Theatre, Mayflower Theatre, Manchester Palace Theatre, Sheffield Lyceum, Ipswich Regent Theatre, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Liverpool Empire, The Alhambra Theatre Bradford, Brighton Theatre Royal, Birmingham Hippodrome, Leicester Curve, Nottingham Theatre Royal, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre Dublin, Grand Opera House Belfast, New Victoria Theatre Woking, Milton Keynes Theatre, Blackpool Winter Gardens, Sunderland Empire, Wycombe Swan, Royal and Derngate Theatre, Churchill Theatre Bromley, Cardiff New Theatre, Edinburgh Playhouse, The Orchard Theatre Dartford and Glasgow Kings Theatre.
More dates are to be announced for 2022.