picture source: x
hello! it's been an awfully long time since i actually sat down and wrote anything for this blog but i've been so busy lately (an update post to come). last week i made time in the middle of all the madness to go see hairspray at my beautiful local theatre, and felt that it was far too good not to blog about it. so here we are!
i absolutely adore the film version of hairspray, i'd definitely say it was in my top 10 films of all time, and it has one of my favourite soundtracks. i'm happy to say that the stage show did not disappoint in comparison!
first of all, the actors and actresses were fantastic. freya sutton played tracy, the leading lady, and she was phenomenal. her voice was stunning, she was so funny and cute and my face just lit up whenever she was on stage, which is pretty essential for such an up-beat musical. another actress i loved was lauren hood who played penny pingleton, she was HILARIOUS. not to spoil anything but when she has her little makeover at the end of the show there were genuine tears in my eyes because i felt so happy for her character ("i'm a pretty girl now, ma!" *huge collective 'AAAAWW' and wiping of tears from audience*).
one of the main thing that draws an audience to a show is a celebrity performer, and this had two! lucy benjamin, who played velma von tussle, was wonderful (although, i hate to say it, but her voice was not as strong as others and tended to get a little lost in the music), but mark benton, who was to be playing edna turnblad, wasn't able to be on stage that night, so we were treated (and i do mean treated) to a performance from the fantastic daniel stockton. i have never laughed so much in all my life! he was INCREDIBLE. his partnership with on-stage husband wilbur, played by paul rider, was absolute perfection and their comic timing was on point for the whole show. one song that i had never enjoyed much in the film was 'you're timeless to me' but these wonderful actors made it such a huge number (made particularly great by the fact that daniel lost his composure and started shaking with laughter twice).
i've saved my favourite performance until last - sandra marvin as motormouth maybelle made me feel every emotion under the sun. she was just... i can't even put it into words. it will never compare to hearing it live, but if you like, you can click here to hear one of her performances of 'i know where i've been', a big-belt song which i ADORE. her voice filled the whole theatre and you could feel the astonishment radiating from every member of the audience, and we were all applauding before the song was even over, much like in the clip. i was very close to the stage and i could see her face very clearly; during the song, she is essentially trying to comfort her children and tell them that they'll live in a racism-free world one day, and the raw emotion on her face was so powerful, i was just sat there sobbing. she's just incredible, i would go again just for her.
the story was actually pretty different from the film, with a completely new jail scene which i was quite surprised by. if i'm completely honest i didn't really like the jail scene, it sounds silly to say it know as it was completely plausible, but at the time it just seemed ridiculous to me. there was also a slightly strange dodge ball scene which was a bit bizarre, but it didn't detract from the overall show. one thing i loved was that there were 2 songs in the stage show that hadn't been included in the film; 'it takes two' and 'mama i'm a big girl now'. those are possibly my favourite songs on the soundtrack so to see them performed live was really interesting for me.
needless to say, there was a never-ending standing ovation, and i was really happy to find that there was a little reprise of 'you can't stop the beat' for the crowd to join in with (which i both loved and didn't love, as none of us knew the dance so we couldn't really join in).
the backdrops and costumes of the show were amazing, very bright and colourful; the kind of clothes that just made you smile non-stop the second anyone walked on stage. i was just so HAPPY watching this show, i don't even know how to describe it. the atmosphere in the theatre was just wonderful and i want to live in that kind of environment forever. it's just a perfect feel-good night out. it was never-ending happiness and dancing and incredible voices and beautiful costumes, i LOVED it. you guys know how much i loved wicked at the west end and i was seriously doubting whether or not that could still be my favourite after i saw hairspray, THAT'S how good it was. it's still at the grand for another week and will be coming to lots of other places over the next few months, so if you haven't booked your tickets yet, you really need to do so right now because it is definitely not to be missed. i'm sort of toying with the idea of going again myself. just go! you won't regret it, trust me! x