REVIEW: Hairspray is lifting spirits at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Welcome to Baltimore, where the colourful 60s is in full swing, and everyone’s hair is as big as their dreams.

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Tracey Turnblad, spends most of her time either in detention, or glued to her TV screen at 4pm with her best friend Penny to watch The Corny Collins Show.

With dreams of becoming part of the gang that’s made up of some of the nicest kids in town and earning a place on the show, Tracey skips school and auditions, but her high hopes are shot down by the show’s producer, Velma Von Tussle and her daughter, Amber.

Brenda Edwards and the cast of Hairspray UK Tour 2021.

But her energy is a breath of fresh air, and it earns Tracey a spot on the show, giving her the chance to achieve one of her goals – making the show racially integrated.

Hairspray is one of the most entertaining shows on stage right now, having delighted audiences on Broadway and the West End. It’s a high-energy show that radiates happiness – something that’s desperately needed following the challenging year that the theatre industry has faced.

It’s more than just girl meets boy – although seeing Tracy win over Link Larkin is fantastic – Hairspray touches on some serious issues in a very clever way, with one of its main topics focusing on racial integration.

Katie Brace makes her professional debut as the loveable Tracey, and her performance is utterly outstanding throughout. Her role demands a lot of energy, both vocally and physically, but she delivers on every level.

Every element of Hairspray is an absolute joy to watch. This is the third time that I’ve seen the smash-hit musical, and once again I found myself smiling from ear to ear from the moment we were immersed in Baltimore.

Katie Brace & Alex Bourne as Tracey and Edna Turnbald in the Hairspray UK tour 2021

Alex Bourne absolutely steals the show as Edna Turnblad, his hilariously cheeky duet with on-stage husband Normand Pace (Wilbur Tunblad) is one of the many highlights of this show that makes it so utterly enjoyable and earned many laughs from the audience.

The same can be said for the mighty Brenda Edwards, who raised the roof with her mighty soulful voice as Motormouth Maybelle. Her performance of Big, Blonde and Beautiful will go down as one of my most memorable Hairspray moments, and is worth the ticket price alone!

A colourful, heart-warming and utterly joyful show, Hairspray will continue to lift the hair and spirits of audiences for many years to come. A true theatrical treat that simply cannot miss.

Hairspray runs at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday, October 23. Click here to find out more about the UK tour and book your tickets to see the nicest kids in town, you won’t regret it.

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