Welcome to the 60s! Llandudno’s being taken back to the decade of big hair for one week only. Big, Bold and Beautiful! Hairspray wowed audiences on its opening night at Llandudno’s Venue Cymru when it provided a fresh sweet treat packed full of laughter, fun and dancing!
Set in 1962 Baltimore, from the offset it’s very easy to misjudge Hairspray, but it’s not just a musical based on a teenage girls crush and her never ending dreams to make it onto one of the biggest dance shows in the state. It’s about fighting against inequality and injustice and how a young girl uses her new found fame to do just that.
From the dancing to the costumes to the singing (Some of the notes the cast were hitting were just jaw-dropping!) Hairspray has it all. It’s the ultimate feel-good show and you won’t be able to stop your feet from tapping when hit songs such as Welcome To The 60s, You Can’t Stop The Beat and The Nicest Kids in Town and more start playing.
The cast is packed with talent and some may recognise the faces of Brenda Edwards (X Factor, Chicago), who takes on a great role as Motormouth Maybelle and her vocals during the number I Know Where I Have Been are guaranteed to give you goosebumps, as well as Layton Williams (Bad Education) who plays Seeweed, deservedly received a great reception from the audience, his athleticism and sleek moves are to be admired.
But one cast member I just have to mention is the leading lady herself, Rebecca Mendoza, who put her heart and soul into the teenage role of Tracey Turnblad. I couldn’t believe she was making her professional debut in this production – I’m sure, after seeing last night’s performance, she’s got a long successful career ahead of her! Her Tracey was filled full of love, humour, energy and plenty of feistiness. She had audiences howling with laughter during many of her scenes with crush Link Larken, played by Edward Chitticks, who also provided plenty of charisma.
A favourite scene of mine from the evening featured Matt Rixon (The Ladykillers), as Tracey’s Mum, Edna, and Norman Pace (Hale & Pace) as Wilbur, Tracey’s Dad. They sang the number, (You’re) Timeless to Me, and I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever sat in a theatre that was filled with so much laughter than during that scene. They performed a timeless performance, which still had me giggling during the car ride home.
After seeing the 2007 movie of Hairspray far too many times to mention, I can say I was not disappointed in the slightest. You’ll come out beaming from ear to ear and with a skip in your step and a determination to follow your dreams. I can’t recommend this musical enough so make sure to wear your best dancing shoes because you’ll find it hard to keep your feet still during the whole show and you’ll definitely feel like jiving your way out of the theatre!
You can catch Hairspray The Musical UK Tour at Venue Cymru until Saturday 5th May. Tickets are available from the Venue Cymru website or by calling the Box Office on 01492 872000.