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About the Show Less...

The musical tale of Tracy Turnblad - a big girl with big hair and a big heart - who becomes an overnight celebrity. Read More >

Set in 1962 Baltimore, Hairspray is the musical tale of Tracy Turnblad – a big girl with big hair and a big heart who loves to dance – who becomes an overnight celebrity when she wins a spot on the local TV dance programme, the Corny Collins Show. Determined to prove that dancing is for everyone, whatever their size or colour, the irrepressible Tracy sets out to bring Baltimore kicking and screaming into the 60s. But can our heroine upstage the programme’s current princess, bring integration to Baltimore and win the love of heartthrob Link Larkin without denting her ‘do?

Hairspray is based on the film written and directed by John Waters, which starred actress-turned-chatshow-host Ricki Lake as teenager Tracy. A new film, based on the musical, was released in 2007 starring John Travolta as Tracy’s mother Edna.

The American production of Hairspray won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, seven Drama Desk awards, five Critics’ Circle Awards and a Grammy for the original cast recording.

The UK production of Hairspray opened in October 2007 and went on to win four 2008 Laurence Olivier Awards: Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Supporting Performance in a Musical and Best New Musical.

Hairspray currently stars comedian Brian Conley, who dons a dress to play Edna Turnblad, newcomer Chloe Hart as Tracy and 80s pop star Belinda Carlisle as the evil Velma Von Tussle.

For more about Hairspray read the First Night Feature or Introducing… Chloe Hart.

Looking to see some musical theatre? Find out more about London musicals.


Important Dates & Timing

Previews From: 11/10/2007

Opening Night: 30/10/2007

Closing Night: 28/03/2010

Running time: 2h30

Security note: For your comfort and security, you may be subject to additional checks on your visit to London theatres. Please contact the venue for more information.

Cast & Creative


Brian Conley, Chloe Hart, Belinda Carlisle, Micky Dolenz, Sharon D Clarke, Verity Rushworth, Liam Tamne, Adrian Hansel, Raquel Jones, Nicola Brazil, Gavin Alex


Director - Jack O'Brien

Producer - Stage Entertainment UK Ltd, Margo Lion, New Line Cinema, The Baruch • Viertel • Routh • Frankel Group, Elizabeth Williams, James D Stern / Douglas L Meyer, Cynthia Stroum

Choreographer - Jerry Mitchell

Author - Based on the John Waters film

Lyrics By - Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman

About Shaftesbury Theatre

210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8DP

Unlike film, there is currently no official age classification organisation for theatre. All age recommendations are subjective and should be interpreted as guidelines unless otherwise stated. It's the responsibility of the patron to judge the show’s suitability in advance of purchase. We recommend contacting us at if you are in any doubt.