You won't be able to stop the beat, or your feet from tapping if you pay the Regent Theatre a visit this week for the newest production of Hairspray the Musical.
Rosie O'Hare stars as the larger than life Tracy Turnblad- a teen with a dream for a more unified society, and an unlikely love match for the dreamy Link Larkin played by Dan Partridge. Along with her best friend Penny Pingleton played by Annalise Liard-Bailey, and her friends from afterschool detention such as the lovable Seaweed played by Shak Gabbidon-Williams; they conspire to overthrow the confines of society to ensure the Miss Hairspray contest can be an inclusive event to be enjoyed by all.
This is without doubt the strongest ensemble cast I have seen in a very long time. Every cast member is exceptional in their singing and dancing abilities, which only helps to spread the Hairspray magic.
Combined with a live band on stage throughout the show the production really is a treat for your ears as they perform all of your Hairspray favourites such as 'Good Morning Baltimore', 'Welcome to the 60's', 'Big, Blonde and Beautiful' and of course 'You Can't Stop the Beat'.
Matt Rixon and Graham Macduff steal the show as Edna and Wilbur Turnblad. Their on stage relationship and impeccable comedic timing had the audience laughing out loud on more than a few occasions!!! Needless to say one of the loudest finale cheers was definitely reserved for them, as they were a pleasure to watch as this iconic parent double act.
Of course no story is complete without a villainous mother and daughter duo, Gina Murray and Gemma Lawson bringing to life the entitled Velma and Amber Von Tussle. Murray's portrayal of Velma has a touch of the Cruella De Ville, as she recreates the sophisticated and cunning TV show producer.
Perhaps one of the stand out performances of the show was Brenda Edwards in the role of Motormouth Maybelle. Her rendition of 'I Know Where I've Been' is filled with power, passion and warmth which perfectly capture the struggles of the time period. Her voice is truly incredible and for me this was the performance of the night.
Undoubtedly if you want to see a production filled with pure joy, comedy, and triumph over adversity then this is the show for you. Filled with flamboyant characters, psychedelic costumes and dance along musical numbers; this show will leave you singing along hours after you've left the theatre. So run and tell your friends that Hairspray the Musical is the best show in town!
Reviewed by Samantha Weston at the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent.
Hairspray is currently touring until 4th August. For more information and tickets visit the shows website.