Review: Hairspray, Birmingham, Hippodrome

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Everyone knows the classic American high school tale – the pretty prom queen wins the heart of the handsome hero and they live happily ever after, but Hairspray, which opened this week at the Birmingham Hippodrome, is the exception to the school rule.

Dressed up for success – the cast of Hairspray which is playing at the Hippodrome

Larger than life Tracey Turnblad wants nothing more than to join the Nicest Kids in Town on the Corny Collins show on the local TV station, but there's just one problem – Tracey is far from the stereo typical TV star!

There's hairdos, heels and high notes and that's just the leading man, played to perfection by Waterloo Road star, Mark Benton, as the Turnblad matriarch, Edna. Creating the perfect combination is Paul Rider as her whacky hubby, Wilbur and together they perform what must surely be one of the funniest duets on the stage.

X-Factor finalist, Marcus Collins certainly steps up to the mark, turning his hand to musical theatre with ease as sexy Seaweed and Sandra Marvin as Motormouth Maybelle completely blew the audience away, but it is Freya Sutton who steals the show with her performance as Tracy, the chubby chick who gets the guy.

From the uplifting opening number, Good Morning Baltimore to Tracy's love-struck ballad, I Can Hear the Bells, to the amazing finale, You can't top the Beat, this first rate cast just keep on delivering over and over.

Runs until June 1.

By Alison Norton

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