Theatre / claire sweeney

Review: Hairspray the Musical, Hippodrome

By kelly jobanputra, Wednesday Mar 9, 2016

If you fancy being transported back to the 1960s in a haze of big hair, upbeat songs and energetic dance moves by people in all that glitters, this smash hit musical is just the ticket.

Freya Sutton – who plays the show’s star, the delightfully larger-than-life Tracy Turnblad – has a voice that stops you in your tracks. It is so perfect, it was hard to believe it wasn’t a recorded voice being played at times. But rest assured, this is a totally live show, with impeccable talent shining through the whole production.

Elsewhere, Claire Sweeney entertains as Velma Von Tussle, the stuck-up producer from hell, while Tony Maudsley as mum Edna Turnblad and Peter Duncan as dad Wilbur received the biggest laughs from the crowd, especially with their cheeky rendition of You’re Timeless to Me. And Dex Lee (Seaweed) has some moves to captivate even the most dismissive of theatregoers, commanding everyone’s attention as he glides and grooves across the dance floor.

You’ve probably seen the film, so it’s not necessary to pick apart and explain the plot: needless to say, this is a proper feelgood show. The girl gets the boy, the girl gets the gig – and the girl gets integration put on the map.

The Corny Collins show came to town – and got a standing ovation from this Bristol audience.

Hairspray the Musical continues at the Hippodrome until Saturday, March 12. For more info and to book tickets, visit

Pic: Ellie Kurttz

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