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Hairspray stops the beat in March

Published 28 January 2010

Laurence Olivier Award-winning musical Hairspray will close at the Shaftesbury theatre on 28 March 2010, following two and a half years of big-haired, big-hearted success.

The feel-good musical about a plus-sized girl who wants to prove that dancing is for everyone and win the affection of the local heartthrob opened in London in October 2007, with Michael Ball donning a dress to play larger-than-life mum Edna Turnblad.

It has since played over 1,000 performances to more than one million theatregoers, grossing over £50 million and becoming the longest running show at the Shaftesbury theatre in 40 years.

Among its many accolades, the production, which is based on a John Waters film, won four Laurence Olivier Awards in 2008 for Best Actor in a Musical (Ball), Best Actress in a Musical (Leanne Jones), Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Tracie Bennett) and Best New Musical.

Speaking about the decision to close the show, Bill Taylor, CEO of Hairspray producers Stage Entertainment UK, said: “Every show, even a big, glorious hit show like this one, has a natural life and for now it is time for Hairspray to leave London. Margo Lion and the Broadway producers of Hairspray join Stage Entertainment in thanking every member of the company who has been involved in making it such a success and every audience member who joined us at the Shaftesbury theatre over its record-breaking run.”

Musical theatre favourite Brian Conley returns to the cast to play Edna for the final eight weeks of Hairspray’s London run, with former Monkee Micky Dolenz playing doting husband Wilbur. They join Chloe Hart, who continues to play dancing queen Tracy.

Following Hairspray’s West End closure, the show will embark on a UK tour, taking in Cardiff, Glasgow, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Leeds, Manchester, Plymouth, Liverpool, Sunderland, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Birmingham, Bradford and Edinburgh.

Now show has yet been announced to follow Hairspray at the Shaftesbury theatre.

MA

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