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Hairspray is fun!

Hairspray is fun!

Threshold Theatre Company, at Norwich Playhouse

Review of Hairspray published in Eastern Daily Press, 18 December 2014

Hairspray is a musical that doesn’t take itself over seriously while dealing with serious topics and offering ‘serious fun’ way that leaves your feet tapping for ages.

Based on the 1988 film, it harnesses the power and swing of early 1960s downtown rhythm and blues and youth culture to showcase a plump teenager (the incredible Charley Smith) becoming an overnight celebrity when winning a place on a local TV dance show.

Martin Rodwell plays her ample-bossomed mother, avoiding pantomime dame and hitting the perfect comic note.

Numbers are performed faultlessly including Good Morning Baltimore, Velma’s Revenge, You’re Timeless to Me and the show-stopper I Know Where I’ve Been, sung by the magnificent Tranetta Jones.

The show deals with race relations in a white-dominant society, celebrity, image and love in fast-paced, cameo scenes with clever movement of the large, high-energy ensemble and through outstanding individual performances.

Threshold do themselves proud, sparkling and popping under Jeremy Tustin’s inspired direction with a first class musical and choreographic team. It’s hard to know who enjoys it most – the performers or the packed audience.

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