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Theatre Review: Hairspray - King's Theatre, Glasgow ✭✭✭✭✭




The nicest kids in town are at the King's Theatre with the bold, bright and colourful Hairspray this week. Set in 1962 where once a month Negro day on the Corny Collins' show is deemed progressive, Hairspray sends home the message of the importance of a tolerant society in a burst of fun and energy. It explodes with colour and makes no apology for having a serious heart delivering it with a toe-tapping beat and a thousand watt smile.

The cast spend the entire show in motion and at some points seem as if they are liable to dance themselves off the stage taking the audience and the beat with them. It's impossible to stop your feet from tapping along and a smile creeping across your face as this joyful musical unfolds. The cast shimmy and shake their way through every routine with ease and there is a LOT of dancing! High energy is almost an understatement for this cast, they positively effervesce with movement and all-star smiles befitting the nicest kids in town. 

Roll call!

As the girl with a big personality and even bigger dreams, Freya Sutton captures the drama and anguish of Tracy Turnblad's teenage life beautifully. She bounces across the stage with seemingly limitless energy, enthusiasm and a fantastic voice to boot. She showcases Tracy as a girl that you want to be and that all girls could learn something from. Sutton has particularly superb comic timing and her exaggerated mooning over Link singing was scene stealing and a perfect send up of the all-consuming nature of a teenage crush.

Dolly Parton would envy the height and volume of Tracy's nemesis Velma Von Tussle's hair. Played by Lucy Benjamin, Velma's evil Barbie doll qualities are brought to life in villainous style. Benjamin creates a caricature that is evil yet brilliant. The audience was almost  booing in places such is her pantomime villain perfection.

Sandra Marvin took the roof off the theatre as Motormouth Maybelle with a show-stopping performance of I Know Where I've Been, bringing the audience nearly out of their seats. Edna and Wilbur, Mark Benton and Paul Rider, provide superb visual comedy and their wonderful Timeless to Me had the audience roaring with laughter and appreciation. Marcus Collins and Lauren Hood are a perfect pairing as Seaweed Stubbs and repressed Penny Pingleton.

With such an all-round, outstanding cast it's difficult not to list the entire cast and quite frankly my well-thumbed thesaurus is running out of ways to describe the sheer brilliance of this production. Even the Musical Director gets in on the act after the interval encouraging the audience to be as loud as they can in appreciation of the music.

Go and see the nicest kids in town for yourself and youll leave with a smile on your face while tapping your feet as you go straight back to the box office to beg for another ticket.

Hairspray is at the Kings Theatre until Saturday 18th May

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