Brush of success

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OZONE be damned — it’s aerosols at the ready at the King’s Theatre this week with a trip back to the 60s.

It could only be one musical full of big tunes, larger than life characters and huge beehive ‘dos — Hairspray.

Hairspray, Freya Sutton plays Tracy Turnblad. Photo by Hugo Glendenning

Hairspray, Freya Sutton plays Tracy Turnblad. Photo by Hugo Glendenning

For those of you who haven’t seen the smash hit show — or the all-singing, all-dancing film versions — the scene is set in 1962 Baltimore.

Tracy Turnblad is a big girl with a big heart, and she’s all too aware that change is in the air — in movies, music and in her biggest passion: dancing.

Tracy wins a dancing slot on a local television programme, The Corny Collins Show and, overnight, becomes a teen celebrity.

But she still has to beat the evil Amber to be crowned Miss Hairspray, get her shy mother out of their apartment and into the world and — of course — win the love of heartthrob Link Larkin.

Can she do it without breaking a sweat and — more importantly — ruining that super-high hair?

We have a feeling we know the answer given the show’s feel-good factor — but it’s bound to be a lot of fun getting to it.

Hairspray, based on an 80s film of the same name, opened on Broadway in 2002 and made it to the Shaftesbury Theatre in London in 2007, garnering more than 1,000 performances, 
audiences surpassing the 
million mark and awards 

The 2007 film drew some big names too, with John Travolta stepping into drag to play Edna Turnblad and then-teen-heartthrob Zac Efron grabbing the mic to play Tracy’s love interest.

This time, TV star Mark Benton is in the fat suit as Edna, alongside Freya Sutton as Tracy and Lucy Benjamin as the scheming TV exec and showbiz mum Velma Von Tussle.

It’s Mark’s first foray into musical theatre, and he commented: “That I get to go on that adventure playing a Baltimore housewife is an added bonus.
“As a musical I think it has everything — great songs, great script, really interesting story and lots and lots of laughs.”

You heard the man — so get practising that beehive, because the 60s are swinging in on Tuesday.

n Hairspray runs May 7-18 at the King’s — for tickets (£17.50-£44.50) and performance times, visit or call 0844 871 7648.