Monday night saw the opening night of the smash hit feel good musical Hairspray at Venue Cymru and I was lucky enough to be asked along to see the show by the theatre.
The show starts in Baltimore, United States of America, in 1962 and the all-American teenager Tracy Turnblad wants to be a dancer on TV’s The Corny Collins Show plus possibly becoming Miss Teenage Hairspray.
However, management for the show, Velma Von Tussle (Claire Sweeney) does not want her in the company due to her wanting her daughter, Amber, to be the highlight of the show.
Hairspray, the musical version of John Waters’ 1988 film, opened at Venue Cymru is at Venue Cymru till Saturday evening. The set is minimalist but keeping the stage like this is not a problem due to the fantastic performances from the cast.
Hairspray offers a surprisingly strong social storyline addressing many issues long the way. President Kennedy was in the White House during the time in the states and history shows that the country was hit by widespread Black/White segregation.
While the Baltimore TV station show features black dancers, it’s strictly on a once-a-month ‘Negro Day’ basis.
It is this segregation Tracy determines to overthrow.
Tracy is the emotional heart of the show with Freya Sutton playing the role. Freya plays the part expertly giving a performance as big as her hairstyle.
Matt Rixon’s part of Edna Turnbald offers perfect comic timing with Peter Duncan as Wilbur, her husband.
Claire Sweeney’s take on Velma shows off her experience for all to see while also producing comic moment throughout the play.
While sat on the balcony of the theatre I noticed that she entered the auditorium interacting with audience as she headed to the stage.
With Brenda Roberts being unavailable to play her role of Motormouth Maybelle a special mention must go to her understudy Aiesha Pease. Aiese gave a fantastic performance belting out top class vocals along the way.
Leaving the theatre audience membered talked about how great the show was. With one particular lady saying it was just as good as when she went to see it in the West End in London.
It seems that You Can’t Stop The Beat of this fantastic production which is sure to bring a smile to North Wales all week.
The hit musical, Hairspray, is at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, North Wales until Saturday April 16. Ticket details can be found online at http://www.venuecymru.co.uk or from the Box Office on 01492 872000.