Set in 1962 Baltimore, Hairspray tells the story of Tracy Turnblad (Rebecca Mendoza), a larger than life teen whose dream is to dance on TV in the Corny Collins Show. Her story highlights not only issues of prejudice due to different shapes and sizes, but the segregation which was rife in the ’60s. Despite these heavy themes, Hairspray is without doubt one of the bounciest, most feel-good musicals around.
From the word go the production kicks off with loud outfits, enough sequins for a small army and hair almost as high as the ceiling. Although there is a rather large cast, everyone had their time to shine within the performance, with special note to Layton Williams who played Seaweed. He performed the song ‘Run and Tell That’ with excellent charisma as well as managing to pull off the splits in mid-air, which led to chuckles of joy from the audience.
The chemistry between Edna Turnblad (Matt Rixon) and Wilbur Turnblad (Norman Pace) was electric, with the highlight of the musical being their duet of ‘You’re Timeless to Me’. This included some cheeky jokes from both the actors and even the occasional slipping out of character to laugh along with the audience, which was greeted with great reception.
Not to mention the standard of music performed by the band was exceptional, with brilliant brass booming round the Lyceum Theatre. The night reached its peak at the end of the performance when the cast received a standing ovation, followed by them encouraging the audience to dance along to the finale of ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’.
As an avid Hairspray fan I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. It was hard not to belt out the songs along with the cast throughout the performance, but luckily for the people around me I managed to contain myself.