Review: Hairspray at The Kings Theatre, Southsea

As You Like It, with Jessica Hayles centre. Picture by Keith Pattison

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You know the story, you’ve seen the film, so you think you know what to expect at – least I thought I did.

The Portsmouth Players’ production of Hairspray actually surpassed the movie by miles with its relentless humour and the sheer talent of the entire ensemble.

The coming of age tale revolves around chubby teen Tracy Turnblad fearlessly trying to make her dream come true of becoming a big star. Sarah Partridge tackles the role in an effervescent style with endless energy and infectious spirit.

Jack Edwards is hysterical and shifts into panto dame mode with ease as Tracy’s mum Edna, bringing a battered vaudevillian charm to the Timeless to Me duet with hubby Wilbur, which made my jaw ache from laughing so much.

Fine highlights from Chris Brooke, Marlene Hill was a vocal powerhouse and Jacqueline Willis is wickedly fabulous as Velma Von Tassle. It has its serious side though, with racism being dealt with trough humour without being patronising.

The primary colours of the costumes add to the vibrancy of this 60s-era show, not to mention the impossibly huge hairstyles. Stylish, Hair-larious over the top fun. Don’t miss it.

On until Saturday.