Hairspray (UK Tour) – Review

Hairspray (UK Tour): Churchill Theatre, Bromley

7th February 2022

Everyone’s favourite Baltimore resident is touring the country again direct from a run at the London Coliseum. Step back into the 60’s with Hairspray’s stylish, colourful costumes, fantastic dancing and catchy songs. Having been a hit since 1988, this smash hit musical-comedy follows Tracy Turnblad, who has big hair, a big heart, and big dreams to dance her way onto national TV, and into the heart of teen idol Link Larkin. When Tracy becomes a local star, she is able to use her newfound fame to fight for liberation, tolerance, and interracial unity in Baltimore. But can she win equality, and Link’s heart?

Hairspray is a well loved musical and it is clear to see why with its upbeat songs, comedic characters and well meaning moral message. The cast are all energetic and lively onstage with Alex Bourne’s Edna and Norman Pace’s Wilbur Turnblad offering some hilarious moments. Brenda Edwards brings the house down with her rendition of ‘I Know Where I’ve Been‘ and of course everyone is up and dancing along to the iconic ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat‘. Reece Richards and Ross Clifton are excellent as Seaweed and Link Larkin, with both of the performers demonstrating superb vocals. Making her professional stage debut, Katie Brace is fantastic as Tracy Turnblad and excels with the comic moments.

However, the show does feel dated and could do with some revitalising. The set and use of video screen is lacking and the show hasn’t changed much at all since the 2016 UK tour. Choreography by Drew McOnie is fun and energetic but could be slightly sharper at times.

Hairspray is definitely a good night out and an excellent show to get audiences bopping in their seats. It is suitable for all ages from those who experienced the 60’s themselves to a much younger audience and it conveys an important message. So step back in time to the 60’s and get your ticket while you can.

Hairspray runs at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley until 12th February. Click here for tickets. The show then continues to tour the country until April 2022.

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