Hairspray the Musical

Get backcombing that beehive and shake a tail feather down to The Lowry for the next 2 weeks as feel-good musical Hairspray is in town.

By Manchester's Finest | February 18th '13

Get backcombing that beehive and shake a tail feather down to The Lowry for the next 2 weeks as feel-good musical Hairspray is in town.

Whether you are a fan of the original 1988 cult classic movie starring Ricki Lake or you have seen the recent 2007 flick featuring John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer you won’t be disappointed at this stage version.

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Set in 1962, the show follows Baltimore’s Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and even bigger dreams…to become a dancer on The Corny Collins show. When Tracy’s dreams come true she wants to make some BIG changes all round – getting her shy Mum to step out of the house, to integrate Corny’s show, bag herself local dreamboat Link Larkin and win the Miss Teenage Hairspray crown.

Newcomer and northerner Freya Sutton delights as the big-hearted teen heroine Tracy Turnblad making her a character we are rooting for from start to finish. Sutton is fizzing with excitability and boundless enthusiasm, which makes her such a believable Tracy – a triumph considering this marks her professional debut.

Starring as her Mum is stage and screen star Mark Benton who puts in a great comedic performance as larger than life Edna Turnblad. It’s Benton’s first time performing as a woman and he takes to it like a duck to water providing some side splitting one-liners and also touching ‘Mother-Daughter’ moments.

EastEnders’ Lucy Benjamin who takes on the role of the scheming sharp-tongued TV executive Velma Von Tussle (bearing more than a passing likeness to Joan Rivers) gives the role her all –Velma’s meltdown is a particular highlight.

Stand out performances come from Marcus Collins and Sandra Marvin who steal the show as Seaweed Stubbs and Motormouth Mabel.

Collins has the X Factor throughout, busting out some slick moves as ‘too cool for school’ Seaweed and proving he is one talent show contestant who can really sing. Original West End cast member Marvin gives a powerhouse performance showing she has a voice to match her characters namesake with her jaw-dropping solo ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’.

HAIRSPRAYFreyaSuttonplaysTracyTurnbladPhotobyHugoGlendinning

HAIRSPRAYMarkBentonplaysEdnaTurnbladPhotobyHugoGlendinning

You can’t ignore the dancing which is a huge part of the production and here a big nod goes to choreographer Jerry Mitchell for the energetic routines which are as vibrant as the bubblegum coloured set!

The show is packed full of cheery numbers such as ‘Good Morning Baltimore’ and ‘You can’t stop the beat’ which make the corners of you mouth start to curl upwards and stay like that till the curtain falls.

It’s no wonder Hairspray has 8 Tony’s under its belt and an Olivier Award for Best New Musical . Runs at The Lowry till 23rd February

The Lowry Information & Box Office Telephone 0843 2086005 www.thelowry.com The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays M50 3AZ