Hairspray Review

May 16, 2018 by

Southend Cliffs Pavilio - 14th- 19th May

It was refreshing to see a much younger audience at Southend Cliffs Pavilion last night to see the revival of the hit musical comedy Hairspray. Kids, teenagers, mums and grandparents were all there to enjoy the show, testament that it is perfect for the whole family and has stood the test of time.

It’s not a show that I know that well. I am pretty sure I’ve seen the film with Rikki Lake and remember Michael Ball giving us his Mrs Turnblad, but it’s all a bit hazy. There were certainly quite a few dedicated fans there, ready to sing and dance along to their favourite songs.

Set in Baltimore in 1962, the show follows Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart. She is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV, despite not quite fitting the mould.

The show also explores an important political message too. Colour segregation was rampant in the Baltimore during that era, integration between black and white teenagers was discouraged and even dancing on the same rock and roll dance show was forbidden. When Tracy’s audition makes her a local star, she is soon using her new-found fame to fight for equality. Maybe she can bag local heartthrob Link Larkin along the way…

It’s a great production and really good fun. Matt Rixon has reprised his role as the formidable Edna Turnblad, which he presents with professional aplomb, nicely paired with Norman Pace as her doting husband, Wilbur. Seasoned in their roles, they happily laugh and joke through ‘You’re timeless to me’, much to the audience’s delight. The famous ‘Good Morning Batimore’ and ‘You can’t stop the beat’, are belted it out with such energy and gusto by the talented Rebecca Mendoza. What a wonderful debut performance from this young performer.

All in all, the music, the dance and the wonderful cast gets a big thumb’s up from me. Feel good fun that will get you off your feet and dancing in the aisles before you know it. Grab your tickets before it finishes on Saturday 19th May.

**If you do go, please do everyone a favour and switch your phone off. I can’t tell you how many people kept looking at their phones and replying to texts throughout the entire performance. It’s rude and distracting and drives me, and those around, absolutely nuts! Surely we can put them down for 1 hour to enjoy the show…?**

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