The multi-award winning musical Hairspray, which opens at Titchfield Festival Theatre on Wednesday, has delighted audiences since its opening in 2002.
The show has lovable but believable characters, as well as great songs, dance and music routines. Underneath this feel-good exterior there are however, plenty of other themes, such as racial prejudice, freedom of expression and the importance of individuality.
Based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray, with music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. In 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, teenager Tracy Turnblad's dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance programme based on the real-life Buddy Deane Show. When Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and meets a colourful array of characters, increasingly confident to champion the cause of integration and racial harmony.
Artistic director of TFT, Kevin Fraser says: ‘After the huge success of Spamalot last year, we had lots of new, younger actors joining us and getting actively involved in the theatre. Their enthusiasm for musicals and the fact that Hairspray is essentially a story of how young people seek to find ways of fitting into the modern world made this production a natural choice.
‘We also love the fact that Hairspray is not afraid to tackle some of the important issues that were so prevalent in 1960s America including race and civil rights – and has a message for us in the 21st century too, for example in challenging the perception that teenagers should aspire to the stereotypical image that is frequently portrayed by models and film stars, all of whom are a perfect size and shape.
‘Above all though, Hairspray is full of fun – and hope, teenage emotion, colour and has an energetic, vibrant feel. We are sure audiences will love it! We can’t wait for the opening night next week.’
Hairspray opens on Wednesday, September 12 until Saturday, September 22 in the Oak Theatre, St Margarets Lane, Titchfield.
Go to titchfieldfestivaltheatre.com or call the box office on 01329 556156.