Hairspray at the New Theatre Cardiff Review


New Theatre, Cardiff

21-26 March 2016

Reviewed by Tara Davies

With our hairspray cans at the ready, it was time to be transported back to the rock and roll era of the late 50s, early 60s, for the smash hit musical, Hairspray!

What with having watched the original 80s movie several times and it being a firm favourite of mine, I was expecting big things from this musical. Despite the stage show running for over a decade, this was the first opportunity I’ve had to see it live. I have to admit, I was a little worried that I’d not be able to watch without a sceptical eye due to my love of the original but my apprehension was misplaced, the show exceeded my expectations and we were treated to another amazing display of musical excellence at the New Theatre!

For those of you who are yet to see the original, the show represents the African American civil rights movement, led by the bubbly, down turn girl, Tracy Turnblad (Freya Sutton). A soft hearted, teen, with an innocent longing for social justice, who lives for the Corny Collins show and daydreams of future fame, whilst lusting over heart throb Link Larkin (Ashley Gilmour).

Tracy (Sutton) opens the show with a musical rendition of Good Morning Baltimore, which spring boards the show into over 2 hours of singing and dancing, including hits from the movie, such as, I Can Hear the Bells, It Takes Two and You Can’t Stop the Beat. Not exactly a “star studded” cast. Claire Sweeny, plays the bigoted, fame hungry, anything goes, Velma Von Tussle, well. Whilst, Peter Duncan, plays carefree, Wilbur Turnblad, with ease. The rest of the cast did not disappoint either, largely made up of fresh faced, enthusiastic and lively individuals! The singing was great throughout, matched by the dancing! Nonetheless, it was Motormouth Maybelle (Brenda Edwards) and Seaweed (Dex Lee) who stole the show for me. They literally, sang out of their skin, leaving me in awe of their musical excellence, on occasions.

The set for the show was relatively basic, however, this did not distract. Costumes were amazing and I struggled to stop my toes from tapping throughout. A superb, vibrant night of entertainment, definitely worth a visit.

Rating: 4/5

Tickets cost from £14 to £40 (booking fees may apply).

Hairspray is at the New Theatre in Cardiff until 26 March 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 029 2087 8889.

New Theatre, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3LN | 029 2087 8889

4 Star

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