REVIEW: Hairspray – King’s Theatre, Glasgow


It’s 1962, the ’50s are out and change is in the air. Baltimore’s Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion – to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance programme, ‘The Corny Collins Show’ and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the programme’s reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her ‘do?

In the words of the song You Can’t Stop the Beat and it also seems as if you can’t stop Hairspray the musical, continuously touring since ending its West End run in 2010.


Exploding onto the stage in a riot of colour and noise this is a musical with big hair and an even bigger heart.

Familiar face Lucy Benjamin, newcomer Freya Sutton as our heroine Tracy Turnblad, New Yorker Luke Striffler as Link and TV favourite Mark Benton as the indomitable Edna Turnblad head up a wonderfully talented cast. There isn’t a weak link anywhere on stage and the energy the entire cast expend from start to finish cannot fail to carry you along in its wake. This is a heartwarming story with its tongue placed firmly in its cheek which to its great credit, never descends into schmaltz, retaining a mischief that prevents the saccharine overtaking the message at the core of the story.

To a man, this crowd of all ages leapt to its feet at the end, literally making the floor of the King’s Theatre bounce and the deafening roars approval can only bode well for the Glasgow run of this show. A real winner.

Runs at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow until 18th May

Ticket details here

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