It's time for my review of Hairspray.
I am a massive fan of the film version of Hairspray so as soon as I heard that Hairspray was coming to Wimbledon I just had to see it. Sadly there were quite a few problems with this production, but it was nevertheless great fun. The storyline for those who aren't familiar with Hairspray is: It’s Baltimore 1962, where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV. Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for equality, bagging local heartthrob Link Larkin along the way. I love all the music, with my favourite song being 'You Can't Stop the Beat'. I thought that the set and costumes were absolutely stunning. I feel that the show sends a great message across saying that you can do anything, no matter your weight, the colour of your skin or how you look. I enjoyed the jail scene at the beginning of act one as this is a scene that isn't featured in the movie. I also enjoyed the scene where the character 'Motormouth Maybelle' sings 'I Know Where I've Been', but this was mainly due to Brenda Edward's phenomenal singing voice. I also thought all the ensemble were very good, especially in act two. Cast members who stood out for me were Freya Sutton as Tracy Turnblad, Tony Maudsley as Edna Turnblad, Brenda Edwards as Motormouth Maybelle, Lauren Stroud as Amber Von Tussle, Dex Lee as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Peter Duncan as Wilbur Turnblad and Karis Jack as Little Inez. Sadly I feel some of the actors within the cast did overact a little and at times I felt like I was watching a pantomime. For some reason the accents just didn't work with various actors, especially with Claire Sweeney as Velma Von Tussle and Ashley Gilmour as Link Larkin. Instead of doing normal American accents, they decided to do cheesy accents which in my experience most American people don't sound like. It's such a shame that Ashley came across as having difficulty with his accent because he was so talented with his singing and dancing. I don't know if a dialect coach was used but it really could have been useful.. In the movie version the character of Penny is portrayed as a bit ditzy, however in this production she was portrayed really dorky, which for me didn't work. I also feel some of the actors need to brush up on their comic timing a bit. I really wasn't keen on act one, but luckily act two got so much better and was a lot of fun.
The featured star of Hairspray is, drum roll please… BRENDA EDWARDS!
I saw Brenda a few years ago in 'We Will Rock You' where she was amazing, so it was no doubt she'd still be amazing! Originally I was going to give featured star to Dex, but after hearing Brenda sing 'I Know Where I've Been' I couldn't not give her featured star.
Now for my final verdict on Hairspray. I give Hairspray…
I was only going to give Hairspray three stars due to act one being not so good, but I have decided as act two was amazing this show deserves four stars.
Think it should have got a higher rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.
Join me next time when I will be reviewing Mamma Mia.
Thanks for reading!