Hairspray at the Theatre Royal Plymouth Review

15-20 January 2018


Reviewed by Nicola Wilkinson

Last night (Monday 15 January 2018) myself and a friend had the pleasure of going to see the award-winning musical Hairspray at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. When we arrived, the theatre was very busy.

We thought the show was absolutely brilliant. The whole evening was bright, colourful and full of energy right from the starting number Good Morning Baltimore. Sang by Rebecca Mendoza it really made you feel you were part of the story it had me ready to join in.

Set in Baltimore in 1962 the story follows the dream of Tracy Turnblad who is wanting to appear of the Corny Collins show, although she doesn’t fit in with the glamorous girls on show because of her size and large hair. Not only is she determined to be on the show she always wants to put an end to black and white people dancing together. Tracy sings and dances her way right to the end which ends in her on the show and getting all of her friends she met in detention on the show.

The whole performance has been brilliantly choreographed with a well-rehearsed cast who all looked like they loved their roles and put  all their energy into it. The costumes and scenery reflected the year the story is based.

Every single performer was outstanding in their own way and all the main roles could do with a mention, but these are a few of my favourites.

Tracy Turnbland – played by Rebecca Mendoza. You would never have known that Rebecca only graduated from Italia Conti Academy of Theatre of Arts last July. She was perfect for the role, she is bubbly and has a great voice and shows she’s definitely passionate about the role. Well done to her on her first main show.

Seaweed – played by Layton Williams. His dance skills were slick and very cool. He fully captured the audience by his amazing backflips and he was a great voice a total allrounder of a performer.

Motormouth Maybelle, played by Brenda Edwards, brought a lot of soul to the performance with her amazing voice.

I’d also like to mention Matt Rixon, who played Tracy’s mum Edna, he had the audience laughing with his dame like role and his duet with her husband Wilbur (Norman Pace) was brilliant.

There did seem to be a couple of little technical issues with curtains not working, these did not affect the show too much, just made it run quite late.

If you looking for a toe tapping show which will have you up on your feet at the end then Hairspray is highly recommended. You won’t be disappointed. Its only here till Saturday is I’d get your tickets quickly.

Hopefully Hairspray will come to Plymouth again as I think my children would also enjoy it and I definitely want to watch it again.

The Theatre Royal is set in the centre of Plymouth with plenty of parking and restaurants/bars close by as well as at the theatre. The theatre itself is always very welcoming, although it’s on a few levels it’s easy to find your way around with clear signage and plenty of staff on hand to help.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £19.50 to £45.50 (booking fees may apply).

Hairspray is at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth from 15-20 January 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit or call the box office on 01752 267222.

Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR | 01752 267222

Please follow us and share this post: