REVIEW: Hairspray at Bristol Hippodrome
By Carol_Deacon | Thursday, August 08, 2013, 17:58
Hairspray the musical opened at the Bristol Hippodrome on Monday evening, August 6, and it is a B-I-G night out in more ways than one.
Hairspray is at the Bristol Hippodrome
Hairspray is at the Bristol Hippodrome
The strictly non-PC musical with its cast of singing and dancing misfits gave it some wellie as they bounced on and off the stage reaching new decibels of brilliance.
The comedic pairing of Mark Benton in drag as Edna and Paul Rider as Wilbur Turnblad stole the show with their 'titillation' routine and newcomer Freya Sutton as their dance-mad daughter Tracy won plaudits for her energetic performance as the kind-hearted fat girl.
The slick timings, psychedelic costumes and clever set all help to put this story of integration and segregation into a palatable social history context.
Oh boy, it is good.
With its brand placement, pleasantly plump people and bad hair days it's a hoot.
Nailsea Musicals thespian Simon Webb, who lives in Clevedon, said: "I had a really good sing-song to cheesy Hairspray songs and embarrassed myself by knowing every word to You Can't Stop The Beat.
"I had a sing-off with the girl sat next to me and I won...my throat hurts now."
Portishead dispense optician Madeline Middleton, who lives in Nailsea, said: "I went last year when Michael Ball of Love Changes Everything fame played the mum Edna Turnblad and I thought that was good but this production is even better."
Bath Chronicle journalist Laura Tremelling, who lives in Clevedon and is a radio Sunshine presenter at Weston Hospital, went with best friend and fellow theatre fan Faye Machin.
Laura said: "Fab night, Hairspray is amazing and makes me wish I was around in the 60s."
Hairspray is based upon the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters, with a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman.
The show is directed by Jack O'Brien and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell.
Set in 1962 the storyline is bold and ballsy.
It tells how Tracy wins a spot on the local TV dance programme, The Corny Collins Show, and is overnight transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity.
But can a trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the programme's reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin (luscious Luke Striffler) and integrate a television show?
The soundtrack takes you from upbeat 60s dance to the downtown rhythm and blues.
Celebrity X Factor winner Lucy Benjamin is brilliant as snobbish mother and tv producer Velma Von Tussle, Sandra Marvin as Motormouth Maybelle raised the roof with her vocals and ugly duckling transformed to a beautiful swan Lauren Hood as Penny Pingleton and her love interest Seaweed J Stubbs played by Adrian Hansel paired off brilliantly.
This hilarious black comedy which is on a UK tour is playing at the city centre theatre until Saturday, August 17 – catch it while you can.
The Bristol Hippodrome has a full line-up of fantastic shows including opera, pop, ballet and one-off star performances. Here is a selection of its future programme until the end of this year:
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW
The world's favourite rock 'n' roll musical starring Ben Forster, Oliver Thornton, Rhydian, Rachel Grundy and Christopher Luscombe runs from Monday to Saturday, August 19-24. Tickets cost £10-£37.50 with concessions available at certain performances. For more information go to www.rockyhorror.co.uk.
GHOST THE MUSICAL
This happy-ever-after tearjerker is based on the phenomenal Oscar winning 1990s movie and is rollercoaster ride of romance and comedy with dazzling state-of-the-art staging stars Rebecca Trehearn as Molly Jensen, Stewart Clarke as Sam Wheat and Wendy Mae Brown as Oda Mae Brown. It plays from Tuesday to Saturday, August 27-September 14. Tickets cost £10-£45 with concessions available for certain performances. Go to www.ghostthemusical.com for more information.
Set in a decadent post war Berlin this musical is in the Money, Money as it stars X Factor winner and superstar Will Young and runs from Tuesday to Saturday, September 17-21. For tickets at £15-£49.50 with concessions available at certain performances go to www.atgtickets.com/bristol.
Thriller Live is a spectacular concert created to celebrate the career of the world's greatest entertainer the late Michael Jackson and runs from Monday to Saturday, September 30-October 5. Tickets at £16-£36.50 with concessions available at certain performances go to www.thrillerlive.com for more information.
Marti Pellow, the lead singer of Scottish pop group Wet Wet Wet, stars in Evita which opens on Monday, October 7 and runs until Saturday, 12. Featuring some of the most famous and inspiring stage music ever written, including the classic songs Don't Cry For Me Argentina, On This Night of a Thousand Stars, Oh What a Circus, You Must Love Me and Another Suitcase In Another Hall this Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber production is on a spectacular national tour. Tickets at £10-£37.50 with concessions available at certain performances go to www.kenwright.com.
Based on TS Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber's record- breaking adaptation is on a UK tour. Directed by Trevor Nunn, with choreography by Gillian Lynne and set and costume design by John Napier it runs from Tuesday to Saturday, October 15-26. Tickets £15-£45 with concessions available at certain performances. For more information go to www.catsthemusical.com.
Tickets for the annual pantomime starring naughty but nice dancer and celebrity Louie Spence, West Country comedian Andy Ford and former singer with pop group Hear'say, Suzanne Shaw, in the title role are selling fast. The show runs from Friday to Sunday, December 6-January 5, 2014 and promises to be the perfect festive treat. Go to www.atgtickets.com/bristol. Tickets £11.90-£37.90 with online booking fee.