Theatre Review: Hairspray


The lively show Hairspray may be relatively new in the history of musicals, but it is fast becoming a classic.

This week I saw the show for the second time at Milton Keynes Theatre and was reminded of the reasons why it continues to be such a hit.

Firstly, it has a good story. Its central character Tracy Turnblad may not be as skinny as some of her classmates but she soon proves she has the personality and dance skills necessary to perform on TV, win over hunky Link Larkin and to introduce racial integration into the very white Corny Collins Show, during the early ‘60s when segregation was rife in America.

The musical is filled with fantastic songs, bouncy dance routines, funny lines and a contagious cheeriness.

There were some outstanding cast members. Freya Sutton plays a wonderfully feisty Tracy, Sandra Marvin gives some incredibly powerful vocal performances as Motormouth Maybelle and ex Eastenders actress Lucy Benjamin shows an unexpected flair for physical comedy as TV producer Velma Von Tussle.

As a minor criticism, I would have liked to have seen Mark Benton as Edna (Tracy’s mum) make a little more of his funny lines, perhaps engaging with the audience to a greater extent. But this is a great show and worth seeing for a cheery night out. It will run at Milton Keynes until Saturday.