The multi-award-winning smash-hit musical Hairspray will be returning to the West End with a strictly limited 19-week season at the London Coliseum from 22 April – 28 August 2021 starring Michael Ball (as Edna Turnblad), Paul Merton (as Wilbur Turnblad) and Lizzie Bea (as Tracy Turnblad).
With the original New York production winning three Tony Awards, including Best New Musical and the original West End production won four Olivier Awards, also including Best New Musical, this is one swinging musical you won’t want to miss!
Set in 1962 Baltimore, the feel-good musical follows the story of a teenage girl named Tracy Turnblad who is ready to take her spot and shine! She’s a big girl with big hair and big dreams and nothing’s going to hold her down. With dreams of making it on the local TV dance show, she ignores all her critics and does what she does best: dance. But will she be accepted? Will she win the heart of teen heartthrob, Link Larkin, and bring everyone together no matter their colour, size or hairdo?
It’s a fan-favourite not only for its upbeat message of self-belief and inclusivity but also for its amazing songs! Featuring the likes of Without Love, You Can’t Stop The Beat, Big Blonde And Beautiful, Good Morning Baltimore, and more, this timely production will leave you feeling upbeat, hopeful and inspired.
Recalling her first time seeing the show on tour at Birmingham Hippodrome, Video and Social Media Coordinator Milly said: “Hairspray is the ultimate family feel-good show. It’s so much fun to watch and anyone who loves an all-singing all-dancing musical will be in for a treat.”
Whether you’re a fan of the movie or you’ve got this on your bucket list of shows to see in 2021, we hope this roundup of our 5 favourite Hairspray moments will make you laugh, smile and have a little sing-along!
1. Michael Ball reprises his Olivier Award-winning role
So we know you can’t stop the beat and apparently, you can’t stop Michael Ball from playing Edna Turnblad because he’s reprising his role in Hairspray this year! The world-famous performer will play the iconic character which earned him two Olivier Awards when the iconic musical plays opens at the London Coliseum in April this year.
Michael Ball is one of Britain’s leading musical theatre stars, a multi-platinum recording artist and a super popular radio and TV presenter. He has been at the top of his game for 30 years starring in musical theatre productions both in the West End and on Broadway, winning critical acclaim, a loyal following and several awards for his stage work and recording career. We cannot wait to see him in this role again. Check out the video above to see his transformation into the legendary Edna!
2. Quizzing Michael Ball and Lizzie Bea on all things sixties!
It was a real celebratory moment when Lizzie Bea was announced to play the iconic leading role of Tracy Turnblad. Lizzie has starred in various productions including the UK Tour of Kinky Boots and the world premiere production of Becoming Nancy in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to Lizzie, everyone close to her has been waiting for this moment with Michael Ball commenting that “she gave off this ora of belonging.”
Back in 2019, we got a chance to catch up with Michael and Lizzie and quizzed them on all things sixties! Take a watch to see how well they know the era – it promises plenty of giggles!
3. Lizzie treats us to a huge-hearted lockdown performance of Good Morning Baltimore
Back in Lockdown 1.0, when the pandemic was all very new to us all, various West End stars performed from their homes to entertain everyone and bring a dose of magic into our lives. From the cast of Mamma Mia! and Matilda to & Juliet and The Prince Of Egypt, there was so much staginess for us to enjoy.
This Hairspray lockdown performance of Good Morning Baltimore is definitely up there in our list of faves and is sung so beautifully by Lizzie. Performed in the opening act, Good Morning Baltimore follows Tracy Turnblad as she wakes up to a new day in Baltimore and takes us through her morning routine. She sings about everything she encounters on the way to school and of her aspirations and thirst for life. She is certain there is something special out there waiting for her. It’s inspiring, it’s uplifting and it certainly gives us the ALL the feels! Check it out!
4. Marisha Wallace’s powerful performance of I Know Where I’ve Been
And while we’re on the topic of absolute belters, Marisha Wallace sure didn’t let us down with this powerful number! Most recently starring in the West End productions of Dreamgirls and Waitress, Marisha is now set to play Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray at the the London Coliseum this April.
Together with her theatre success, Marisha Wallace has taken on the mainstream music world, performing with a number of world-famous artists including Seal, James Blunt and Gregory Porter.
Back in March 2020, before the pandemic hit the UK and ahead of the what was supposed to be the West End return of Hairspray, some of the cast members performed a special launch concert at the Boulevard Theatre in Soho.
Marisha performed I Know Where I’ve Been, sung by her character Motormouth Maybelle as she leads a protest for racial equality through the streets of Baltimore.
This soulful song is packed with emotion and is sure to raise the hairs on the back of your neck! It’s certainly worth of a standing ovation in our opinion. Would you agree?
5. Hairspray perform on Britain’s Got Talent
This roundup would not be complete without the shows performance at the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in September last year which proved that Hairspray‘s beat can not be stopped!
Lizzie Bea, Michael Ball and Marisha Wallace made a stagey surprise on the popular TV talent show with an incredible medley of Good Morning Baltimore and You Can’t Stop The Beat, wowing both the audience and the judges.
Watching the breathtaking performance on TV was truly bittersweet. It reinforced how much I missed theatre but also reminded me of all the incredible shows that we all have to look forward to when theatres can reopen this year. If you missed it, check it out! I promise it’ll make you smile and add a little joy to your day!
If this has got you missing theatre, why not check out what shows you can enjoy online using our online calendar. You can also check out our handy roundup of ways to treat yourself during lockdown, including our brand new Theatre Chat Live series where you can connect with like-minded fans and talk all things theatre!