Hairspray – Keighley Musical Theatre Company

I WAS lucky to catch Hairspray on the opening night, because by the close on Saturday the cast will be totally exhausted!

The action and dancing rarely stop for more than a few seconds, and when there is no dancing, there is singing, tons of it, and all of it done with a passion and professionalism surely rarely seen on an amateur stage.

Judith Chapman, John Sandland and Jamesine Cundell-Walker are a production team of the highest quality, and in this show they have excelled themselves.

Hairspray is a modern classic, and KMTC do it ample justice. The energy and enthusiasm of the cast is infectious, and the applause and toe-tapping of a virtually full house was hugely well-deserved.

The songs are memorable, but my favourites must be ‘Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now’’ and the opener of Act Two, ‘The Big Dollhouse’, which blew me away.

I particularly liked the various double acts; Edna and Wilbur; the ghastly Von Tussle family; Seaweed and Penny; and a brilliant Tracey with just about everybody.

Uniquely, the lead is being shared by Leah Ogrivic-Kerr and Vickie Hawkins in this production.

I caught Leah who turns in a fabulous Tracey Turnblad and I am tempted to watch the show again to watch Vickie strut her stuff, and just to wallow in the glorious spectacle of love, hope, enthusiasm and optimism which is what the show is all about.

I would have liked to have seen the final scores but overall... what a show! Do not miss it!

And finally – in honour of the film version’s star -- John Travolta, eat your heart out!

Martin Carr