Review: Hairspray, Mayflower Theatre

Marcus Collins in Hairspray
Marcus Collins in Hairspray
Portsmouth Players in rehearsal for The Full Monty

Portsmouth Players dare to bare as they go The Full Monty at The Kings Theatre

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HAIRSPRAY has been on my wish list of musicals to see for years.

So I was delighted when I heard it was coming to the Mayflower in Southampton.

And it’s fair to say, I did not leave disappointed.

Set in America in an era of change in 1962, it tells the story of Tracy Turnblad’s dream of dancing on television in a period where racial integration was not accepted.

Opening with upbeat number Good Morning Baltimore, the show instantly provides that ‘wow’ factor with songs Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now and Welcome to the 60s also standing out.

Tracy is played by Freya Sutton, a clearly powerful and ambitious singer who brings personality to the role.

X Factor star Marcus Collins excels in his role as Seaweed J Stubbs, showing his voice has only got better since he was runner-up in 2011.

Meanwhile Mark Benton plays Tracy’s mum Edna, bringing the comedy element to the production as the audience howled with laughter when he performed Timeless to Me with Tracy’s dad Wilbur, played by Paul Rider.

The finale, You Can’t Stop the Beat, had the audience up on their feet, dancing along with the entire cast on stage.

Hairspray is an absolute must-see and I challenge anyone to leave the theatre without a huge smile on their face.

Until Saturday, April 20.