Date 31st October 2018
Society Harrogate St Andrews Players
Venue Harrogate Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Louise Denison
Musical Director Jim Lunt
Choreographer Louise Denison


Author: Sally Holmes

The Society Chair's introduction to “Hairspray” tells us that “it’s an irresistible feel-good show, which will not fail to get feet tapping and the audience dancing the night away”.  On opening night I think every single member of the audience would agree with that!

There were so many brilliant characterisations in this production from such a large cast.

Charlotte McCamley playing Tracy Turnblad was just brilliant in the lead role.  She sang and danced her heart out, and with her best friend Penny played superbly by Lizzie Parry they formed a fantastic duo. Both young ladies have excellent stage presence – they will go far!

Matthew Ainsworth was excellent as the teen idol Link Larkin – he gave a very charismatic performance and has great stage presence.

The pushy mother character of Velma von Tussle was in the capable hands of Toni Wood and her ‘spoiled brat’ daughter Amber was excellently played by Elisha Ainsley.

One of the (many) highlights for me was Richard Billings playing Edna Turnblad the mother of Tracy, and Peter Whitley as Tracy’s dad Wilbur Turnblad.  I (and the rest of the audience) especially enjoyed the duet between Edna and Wilbur ‘Timeless to Me’ - they had the audience in stitches!

Chris Knight as Seaweed J Stubbs was excellent.  He has great vocals, as does Eve Midgeley as Little Inez...with a singing voice to die for at the age of 13 this young lady is certainly someone to watch out for in years to come.

Jess Gardham gave a superb performance as Motormouth Maybelle -  the musical number ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’, brought the house down.  It was exceptional!

Ben Walton as Corny Collins did a great job as the anchor man on the “Corny Collins” TV show.  He sang and danced with ease – perfect for the part.

All the cameo roles were extremely well played.  The whole of the company were clearly enjoying themselves from start to finish – it was a sparkling show, full of youth, enthusiasm and talent, which got a well deserved standing ovation from the whole audience on opening night

The set and costumes were eye catching - this was a very colourful show with excellent principals, brilliant choreography, with great lighting and sound, and not forgetting the superb orchestra.