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Hairspray - Shaftesbury Theatre

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Venue Information
Shaftesbury Theatre

Shaftesbury Theatre
210 Shaftesbury Avenue

Seating Plan


(5mins) Turn right onto New Oxford Street (past the Dominion) for 200 metres, and then turn right onto Shaftesbury Avenue, where the theatre will be on your left 100 metres down.


Hairspray is a hugely entertaining yet thoughtful musical which deals with the issue of racial segregation in 1960’s America. This amusing yet insightful show explores attitudes and opinions at a time when change was in the air.  This was not welcomed by everyone and in this production we see tensions played out between old and young, innovators and traditionalists, black and white and so on.

This musical will inspire and uplift you with its all singing, all dancing cast.  It has become a box office smash as well as a ‘must see’ for many people and has won many awards.  These include the
Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2007, the Critics Circle Awards 2008, and Best Musical in the Olivier Awards 2008.

It stars Leanne Jones in the lead role of ‘Tracy Turnblad’, popular performer Michael Ball plays Tracy’s mother ‘Edna’ and Ben James-Ellis plays Tracy’s love interest Link Larkin. 

Hairspray is set in Baltimore, USA in the 1960’s.  In this setting we are introduced to warm-hearted Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with even bigger hair who along with her best friend, Penny, are passionate about leading dance show ‘The Corny Collins Show’.  This show is very popular with the local teenagers and features handsome dance sensation, Link Larkin whom all the girls fantasise about.

Tracy and Penny live for music and dance and practise all the dance routines featured on the show.  The show also hosts a nationwide dance event in which the most talented female dancer is crowned ‘Miss Teenage Hairspray’. 

However, one of the dancers from the show drops out which forces them to hold a series of auditions for a replacement.  Tracy has learnt a wide range of dance moves from the hip and cool black kids at her school and to her surprise and delight is picked for the show.  She attracts the attention of Link Larkin who admires her talent and her strong opinions on racial segregation.  Tracy believes in equal opportunities for both black and white kids, and states that black girls should be given the chance to perform on what is an all white show.  These views do not go down well with everybody, especially the show’s current dance queen, Amber Von Tussle and her domineering mother and show producer, Velma.

Tracy outshines Amber and this leads to all sorts of conflicts.  Amber and her mother plot Tracy’s downfall and find that they have been handed such an opportunity following Tracy’s attempts to engineer a ‘mixed’ show.  In other words, both races dance together.  Tracy is jailed for this offence and goes through a hard time, which Amber and Velma make even worse for her. 

Show Information
Booking From: Thursday, 11th October 2007
Booking Until: Sunday, 28th March 2010
Matinees: Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3pm
Evenings: Tuesday to Saturday 7.30pm
Running Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Show Status: production_closed
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