REVIEW: Hairspray @ The Sunderland Empire

Posted on January 13th 2022 by Whats on Northeast

Hairspray follows the story of Tracy Turnblad as she seeks fame through The Corny Collins Show and aim’s to win the Miss Hairspray 1962 award. With an underlying theme of racism and segregation in 1960’s America, this show has a fantastic message relevant even today, everybody should be included and brought together. It’s safe to say Hairspray brought everyone at the Sunderland Empire together last night with everyone having a little boogie during the finale!

The cast were phenomenal with Katie Brace leading the way as Tracy Turnblad. There was so much personality in her performance she was a fantastic relatable character. Tracy’s best friend Penny Pingleton played by Rebecca Jayne-Davies, acted brilliantly and provided so many laughs throughout the show. Another pair of characters caused some chuckling in the theatre, Edna (Alex Bourne) and Wilbur Turnblad (Norman Pace). The audience roared with laughter and they provided two parent figures everybody can love. Along with the exceptional acting and dancing, the vocals from the cast were incredible, namely Brenda Edwards playing the part of Motormouth Maybelle. Her voice is like none I’ve heard before with so much soul and passion injected into her vocals.

Overall it was a feel-good, hair-raising and foot-tapping show everyone enjoyed! Hairspray is at the Sunderland Empire until the 15th January. For a great night out to lift your spirits, this show is for you.


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