My daughter and I couldn’t have been more excited to see Hairspray on opening night at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. She turned 13 yesterday so joining mummy to review this was the icing on the cake. I would say that Hairspray to teenage girls today is what Grease was to me when I was growing up.
It was so exciting turning up to what felt like a sold out performance; flicking through the programme, taking Snapchats using the Hairspray filter, not to mention enjoying the little goodie bag from Paul Mitchell with some great goodies from the neon range, which supports anti- bullying – Thank you PM!
As the show started we were immediately transported back to 1962 in Baltimore, where Tracy Turnblad (Rebecca Mendoza) lived – a big girl with big hair and even a bigger dream to dance on national TV and also into the arms of heartthrob Link Larkin (Edward Chitticks). In doing so, the show touches some serious subjects as she finds herself fighting for racial equality in an effort to make every day a Negro Day.
My daughter, a massive fan of the movie, told me during the interval that she was a little disappointed that it didn’t follow the same lines as it had songs in it that she didn’t know – I think she was expecting the film on stage. But once I told her the film was based on the show she’s was like “Ohhhh, I see”.
The cast is without a doubt tremendously talented, with strong vocals and excellent choreography by Drew McOnie. For me Seaweed (Layton Williams) stole the show. At one point he did a round off multiple flick back tuck, to which my daughter and I immediately glanced at each other and smiled; my daughter is a cheerleader/dancer so she really appreciates tricks like that – honestly, it was hard to take my eyes of him.
I enjoyed the second half even more than the first. As well as Seaweed, Motormouth Maybelle (Brenda Edwards) was another unforgettable character and her strong presence lit up the stage, especially during her solo ‘I know where I’ve been’.
If I was to be picky, I could say that there were a few annoying accents that made some of the cast less loveable. At times I even questioned if they had forgotten the set as it was so basic, although I did love the basketball hoops reflecting a sports hall – the stage was always bright and full of colour so maybe the extra set wasn’t needed, who knows? The costumes were fantastic, I would love to be left alone to play dress up in their dressing room for a few hours!
All in all this is a fun production and a great entry into theatre. If you are looking for something that’s going to blow you away, then this probably isn’t the show for you. It’s a fun show, full of colour, music and soul and it’s guaranteed to get you up dancing to ‘You can’t stop the beat’ by end of the show.
Hairspray runs until Sunday 11th November 2017 at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. Tickets are available from http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/aylesbury-waterside-theatre or call the Box Office on 0844 871 7607.