Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hairspray, Sunderland Empire, Unitil March 9

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hairspray, Sunderland Empire, Unitil March 9

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Wallace

STEP back in time to the big hair of 1962 in Hairspray, a musical that shines with dreams, dances, spectacular songs and outstanding performances, all culminating in a story that transports and yet also keeps you ever aware of the significant themes of the time.

From the off, Freya Sutton, playing our larger-than-life hero Tracy Turnblad, holds the audience in the palm of her hand with an energy that exceeds expectations.

Her smile is genuinely contagious and her voice is the first that you hear and sets you up for the spectacle that is to come. Mixed with the unbelievable sets, which are beyond what you would normally see in a stage production, along with the costumes that embrace the culture and stereotypes of the 60s, it is impossible to look away as the story unfolds.

Lucy Benjamin (Eastenders) is hilariously malevolent as scheming TV producer Velma Von Tussle, interacting naturally with her on-stage daughter Amber (played by the stunning Gemma Sutton). …

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