HAIRSPRAY is back on tour this summer and the cast, which has now been announced, is full of fantastic #StageFaves. Joining the previously announced Layton Williams are some great names including Norman Pace, Brenda Edwards and Gina Murray. They really are the nicest kids in town...
Norman Pace (ITV1’s The Hale and Pace Show) will play Wilbur Turnblad in the major UK tour of the smash hit musical Hairspray, opening at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff this summer. He will be joined by Matt Rixon (The Ladykillers, Around the World in 80 Days) reprising his role as Edna Turnblad, musical theatre star Brenda Edwards (Chicago, We Will Rock You, The X Factor) returning as Motormouth Maybelle and Layton Williams (Bad Education, Rent) now starring as Seaweed. Gina Murray (Chicago and Full Monty) joins the cast as Velma Von Tussle with Jon Tsouras (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Crazy for You) once again playing Corny Collins; Edward Chitticks (On the Town, Mamma Mia) as Link Larkin; Aimee Moore as Amber Von Tussle; Annalise Liard-Bailey as Penny Pingleton and Monifa James as Little Inez. Rebecca Mendoza will make her professional debut as Tracy Turnblad.
Full cast includes: Lauren Concannon, Melissa Nettleford and Emily-Mae Walker as The Dynamites, Shay Barclay, Ben Darcy, George Hinson, Jordan Laviniere, Graham MacDuff, Lindsay McAllister, Tracey Penn and Freya Rowley.
Featuring the iconic music and lyrics by Academy Award, Tony and Emmy winning duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, this big, bold and beautiful production is choreographed by Olivier Award-winning Drew McOnie with direction from Paul Kerryson. This 37 week tour of the much loved musical based on the 1988 film follows the phenomenally successful 2016 UK tour which played to packed out houses and received public and critical acclaim across the country in 2015/16.
It’s Baltimore 1962, where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV. Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for equality, bagging local heartthrob Link Larkin along the way.
HAIRSPRAY is a musical based on the 1988 film of the same name which starred Divine and Ricki Lake by cult filmmaker John Waters. With music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, Hairspray originally opened to rave reviews on Broadway in 2002 and subsequently won eight Tony Awards. The production opened in London at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2007 and won four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical. Proving to be an international success, Hairspray has also opened in South Africa, Japan, South Korea, China and Dubai. Following the musical’s phenomenal success on stage, a film of the musical was released in 2007 which starred John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and James Marsden.
Director: Paul Kerryson
Choreographer: Drew McOnie
Set and Costume Designer: takis
Lighting Designer: Philip Gladwell
Sound Designer: Ben Harrison
Matt Rixon (Edna Turnblad) trained at Webber Douglas. His theatre credits includes: Step Sister in Cinderella (Richmond Theatre); Bessie in Casa Valentina (Southwark Playhouse); Major Courtney in The Ladykillers (New Vic Theatre & UK Tour); Colonel Proctor in Around The World in 80 Days (New Vic & Royal Exchange Theatre); PC Pong in Aladdin (Wimbledon Theatre); See How They Run at York Theatre Royal; Merlin in The Legend of King Arthur at York Theatre Royal; Aladdin at Theatre at the O2 Arena; Jake Rush in The Governess (UK Tour); Malvolio in Twelfth Night at Chester Open Air Theatre; Roger Debris in The Producers at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe for the RSC in Stratford and at Sadler’s Wells; original cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at The London Palladium; a national tour of To Kill A Mockingbird; a national tour of The Canterbury Tales for Northern Broadsides; Buried Child at The Leicester Curve, Vampirette at The Manchester Opera House; Two at Oldham Colisseum; Endgame at The Liverpool Everyman; The Caretaker, The Crucible, Oh What a Lovely War, Twelfth Night and Four Nights in Knaresborough (MEN Best Actor nomination 2004) at the Bolton Octagon Theatre; Bouncers, Macbeth, The Three Musketeers and Kafka’s Dick at York Theatre Royal; To Reach for the Clouds and Burial at Thebes at Nottingham Playhouse and US tour; Dracula, The Three Musketeers, Thérèse Raquin and Tartuffe at the Haymarket, Basingstoke; Boy at the Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich; Shady Business at The Mill at Sonning; Cinderella and Aladdin at The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Norman Pace (Wilbur Turnblad) is an award-winning comedian and actor who is widely recognized and beloved as half of the comedy duo, Hale & Pace. Hale & Pace began at Tramshed Theatre and went on to become The Hale & Pace Show(ITV) which won the Golden Rose of Montreux and Press Award. Other television credits include; Pushing up Daisy’s, Coming Next and The Management (Channel 4), Job’s for the Boy’s , Oddbods, Casuaulty (BBC), Pinch of Snuff (Yorkshire TV),The Last Detective, April Fools Day (ITV). Pace most recently appeared in One Man Two Guvnors and The Rocky Horror Show. He made his West End debut in Chicago (Adelphi Theatre). His other credits include Honk (UK Tour), A Slice of Saturday (Strand Theatre), Satin & Steel (Bolton Octagon), Breakfast with Johnny Wilkinson (2013), Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night (Nottingham Castle), Donkey Years (UK Tour), Eurobeat, Our Man in Havana (Nottingham Playhosue), Murdered to Death (Theatre Cymru), Secret Garden (Edinburgh Festival Theatre), Murder by Misadventure (Tour), Dry Rot (Belgrade Theatre), Charley’s Aunt (Menier Chocolate Factory) and Annie Get Your Gun (Manchester Opera House).
Brenda Edwards (Motormouth Maybelle) shot to fame when she entered The X Factor in 2005. Since then, Brenda has gone on to grace the stage in; Chicago (Garrick Theatre), Cameron Jones (Royal Festival Hall), Galt MacDermot’s Human Comedy (Young Vic), We Will Rock You (Tour/Dominion Theatre). Brenda has made special guest appearances at the Brixton Academy, Cardiff Millennium Stadium at BBC Radio 2 with the BBC Concert Orchestra, she has also had the honour of supporting Smokey Robinson and Alexander O’Neil at Rochester Castle, with her 11 piece band. Other highlights include sold out concerts at Ronnie Scotts, London’s Pigalle Club, and at the Barbican with Brenda Edwards Gospel Christmas for Raymond Gubbay. Brenda has made several television appearances including; Loose Women, The Weakest Link, The Wright Stuff, ITV1 Sing if you can, and she was a regular correspondent on GMTV talking about all things X Factor.
Gina Murray (Velma Von Tussle) trained at Redroofs Theatre School. She recently returned to the role of Mama Morton in Chicago on the UK National Tour and in Singapore, having played her in the West End at the Cambridge Theatre in 2008 and then again, in 2009, and also on the China Tour. Other key theatre credits include; The Full Monty (Print of Wales Theatre), Fame (Cambridge Theatre), The Roy Orbison Story (Bill Kenwright) and One Touch of Venus, Broken Journey (Kings Head theatre) and A Christmas Carol (Lyceum Theatre). Gina appeared in Alex Jovy’s feature film Sorted (2000) and the follow up feature The Flirting Club (2009). Television and commercial credits include; Here Comes Treble (Comedy Central), Witless (BBC), Doctors (BBC), Eastenders (BBC), Judge John Deed (BBC), Teenage Kicks (Sky One), The Bill (ITV), Special K, Harper Collins, Littlewoods, TD Ameritrade. She has recorded many English Language Tapes, adverts, computer games and animations including Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Summer Camp and Scary Larry. Gina Murray is also a member is acoustic rock/pop group, WOMAN. Who released their first album called WOMANVILLE and recently toured with Earth, Wind & Fire and Billy Ocean, appearing at the Royal Albert Hall, amongst other prestigious venues across the UK.
Rebecca Mendoza (Tracy Turnblad) will be making her professional debut as the lead in the upcoming tour of Hairspray.
Jon Tsouras (Corny Collins) credits include: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Crazy For You, Singing in the Rain, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line and one season at The Stratford Festival, where he performed in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Gigi. Other theatre credits include: A Chorus Line (London Palladium), White Christmas (The Lowry, Salford, Theatre Royal, Plymouth & Mayflower, Southampton), Jesus Christ Superstar (National Arena Tour), Nikos/Padamadan in Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre) directed by Jerry Mitchell, understudied and played Felicia in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Palace Theatre), u/s Legolas and Haldir in The Lord of the Rings (Theatre Royal Drury Lane) directed by Matthew Warchus, My Fair Lady (National Tour) directed by Trevor Nunn, Starlight Express (Germany) and Saturday Night Fever (European Tour), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy Theatre) and My Fair Lady (BBC Proms/Royal Albert Hall).
Layton Williams (Seaweed) began his career at the age of 12 securing himself the title role of Billy in London's Billy Elliot. Layton then made his debut TV appearance as Kylie in Beautiful People (BBC). He attended the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts which was documented on School For Stars (CBBC). His most recent credits include Bad Education (BBC), The Bad Education Movie (2015), Thriller Live (Lyric Theatre), Rent (St. James Theatre/ UK Tour), Hairspray (UK Tour), The Car Man (Sadler’s Wells/Tour), Lord of the Flies (UK Tour).
Edward Chitticks (Link Larkin) trained at the Laine Theatre Arts. His theatre includes: On the Town (Regents Park Open Air Theatre); Mamma Mia (Novello Theatre); Peter Pan (High Wycombe and Dartford); 50th What’s on Stage Awards (Prince of Wales Theatre); Curtains the Musical and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Laine Theatre Arts), Laine Leaps Ahead and Flying in at 40 (Epsom Playhouse). Other work includes: A Midsummer’s Dream and Moroccan Dreams for Tropics Skincare (NEC Birmingham) and music video ‘Crush on You’ by Nero.
Aimee Moore (Amber Von Tussle) trained at Laine Theatre Arts. Her most recent credits include Pacific Dawn and Pacific Eden (Grayboy); Snow White (Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford), Laine Leaps Ahead, Flying In At 40! and A Stair(e) At a Time (Epsom Playhouse), Singin’ In the Rain, Oliver, Chicago, Anything Goes, The Pyjama Game, Just So, Grease, Blood Brothers and Les Miserables all for Rattonians Youth. Film and television credits include Cassandra’s Crossing (2007), And When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007).
Annalise Liard-Bailey (Penny Pingleton) recently graduated from D&B Academy of Performing Arts. Most recently starred in Beauty and The Beast (The Grange Theatre, Hartford) and she has also appeared in the E4 television programme ‘Stage School’.
Monifa James (Little Inez) trained at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and will be graduating in July 2017 with a diploma in Musical Theatre. Performance credits include; ‘Jason Donovan – Ten Good Reasons and Greatest Hits UK Tour’ and ‘X Factor 2015’.