Hairspray

Date 20th March 2015
Society Worthing Musical Theatre Company
Venue The Pavilion, Worthing
Type of Production Musical
Director Tony Bright
Musical Director James LeLean
Choreographer Tony Bright

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Author: Jose Harrison

I went to this production with no special expectations as I hadn’t seen the show or the film before and have to admit that I didn’t even know the story.  A quick glance at the programme synopsis prepared me for the type of show ahead so sitting back and relaxing I was prepared to be entertained, and entertained I certainly was.  The opening was both clever and enchanting with Chloe Holt (Tracy Turnblad) singing ‘Good Morning Baltimore’ with exceptional feeling.  She was soon joined by the entire Ensemble who all sang and danced throughout the entire show with polish and professionalism. The singing from everyone was excellent, especially ‘The Nicest Kids in Town’ and ‘Hairspray’ showing great musical direction by James LeLean who also gave an outstanding interpretation as Edna, Tracy’s Mum.  His entire performance was highly amusing without ever going over the top.  Well done.  This musical had the (excuse the repeat of the word) professionalism we have learnt to expect from a Tony Bright production which was well cast with good acting, exciting choreography and clever staging. All the principals were strong in their various roles especially Jack Winrow whose execution of the hip swaying, swaggering ‘look at me type’ had to be seen to be believed. Zoe Saunders and Annie Winrow as Penny and Amber couldn’t have been more different, the first being a brilliant comedy part and the latter enchanting.  The excellent set construction by M W Scenery was very cleverly designed enabling the scenes to be changed fast and efficiently with minimum disruption to the flow of the story line.  With fourteen scene changes the staging of small ‘sets’ front stage left and right worked really well. Mind you, it helps when the set has been built by the stage manager Mark Winrow. The orchestra conducted by Jane Sutton made the most of the lively music,  Matt Pike did a good job with the lighting design and Brian Mercer came up trumps with the sound system and everyone else behind the scenes obviously worked very hard to accomplish such a watchable show.