You can't stop the beat: Hairspray at the Bristol Hippodrome

You can't stop the beat: Hairspray at the Bristol Hippodrome

 'There was a star danced, and under that was I born', Act II, Scene I, Much Ado About Nothing

A night of dazzling song and dance becomes a powerful social movement as the courageous and outgoing Tracy Turnblad attempts to put on a show to end all segregation. Starring Rebecca Mendoza, Matt Rixon, Norman Pace, Gina Murray and Brenda Edwards Hairspray amazes the Bristol Hippodrome with a colourful show of feel-good, care-free and fun-loving showbiz!

As the hairdos get higher and higher, Hairspray provides all energy and pizazz you can dream of, as well as touching on historical issues of the 1960’s such as racial integration. It is a show that has something for everyone and can offer a re-energised comment on the deep issues it cleverly presents through an enchanting and beautiful story. Based on the film by John Waters, this show cleverly combines issues of racial prejudice and body image with dancing, singing, teen love and of course… hairspray!

Centring around the story of Tracy Turnblad, a stout and outspoken girl who rejects the airbrushed American cover-girl image, this show is both heart-warming and empowering. Despite all odds being stacked against her, Tracy is eventually spotted by teen dance TV show The Corny Collins Show. Rebecca Mendoza as Tracy is utterly adorable and full of boundless energy, bringing a warming smile to your soul every time her effortless vocals brighten the theatre.

Standing out as performing one of the funniest moments in the show, Matt Rixon as Tracy’s mother, and comedian Norman Pace as her father, make a hilarious duo with their duet Timeless to Me. The audience could not forget the stunning vocals of Brenda Edward, whose touching rendition of I Know Where I’ve Been completely steals the show. But it was the jaw-dropping vocals of the Dynamite trio that left me spell-bound after each of there 30 second trills in Welcome to the 60’s.

Gina Murray who sends shivers down your spine as Velma Von Tussle, the evil mother and cruel producer. Layton Williams plays Seaweed with the smooth moves of a Motown dancer, captivating everyone in the theatre as he glides across the dance floor. His  energy seems to have no limits as each and every one of his moves are electric, unsurprisingly causing the adorable Penny, played wonderfully by Annalise Liard-Bailey, to swoon with adoration.

The choreography, expertly crafted by Drew Mconie, is definitely worth a mention. With something drawing your eye and keeping you smiling at all times, this behind the scenes work comes across as effortless perfection on stage.

But what you are guaranteed to come away with after watching this whirlwind of a show is one of the catchiest songs in showbiz. Having been fighting the urge to sing and dance along throughout the entire show, the final number has the whole audience on their feet dancing to the upbeat and infectious song, You Can’t Stop the Beat. A wonderful and dazzling show, Hairspray promises to send you home singing, dancing and smiling! A must see!

 

*****

Five stars

Lottie Amor