Wriggy

Review: Hairspray (Darlington Operatic Society)

With big hair and even bigger voices, the Darlington Operatic Society returns to the Darlington Civic Theatre for their latest production, “Hairspray”.

Set in 1960s Baltimore, plus-sized heroine Tracy Turnblad becomes an overnight celebrity after winning a spot on “The Corny Collins Show”. Can a larger-than-life adolescent change the TV station’s views on race, while also finding true love with teenage heartthrob Link Larkin?

On the opening night (Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015), the role of Tracy was portrayed by Kat Flynn, who was brilliant from the word go. She showed an abundance of charm and energy for the show’s duration, with sassy dance moves to match.

Similarly, Tracy’s parents, Edna (Julian Cound) and Wilbur (Glyn Bigham), were also a pleasure to watch. They demonstrated a brilliant chemistry throughout, with the highlight being a hilarious, yet highly captivating rendition of “(You’re) Timeless To Me)” during the second act.

Other recitals included Hairspray favourites such as “Welcome To The 60s”, “It Takes Two”, “The Nicest Kids In Town”, “I Can Hear The Bells” and the highly energetic “You Can’t Stop The Beat”. Technical issues aside, each track featured flawless vocals and entrancing dance routines.

The rest of the cast also gave incredibly strong performances, including Zoe Birkbeck (as Amber Von Tussle), Tina Davies (Velma Von Tussle), Latoya Black (Motormouth Maybelle), Ben Connor (Link Larkin), Omar Shade (Seaweed Stubbs), Michael Hirst (Corny Collins) and Alison Brown (Prudy Pingleton). There’s certainly no shortage of talent in the Darlington Operatic Society.

Nevertheless, special recognition has to go to Hannah Mundy in the role of Tracy’s best friend Penny Pingleton. Her comic timing, facial expressions and eccentricity are simply delightful to watch. There’s certainly a bright future for this young star.

You can catch “Hairspray” at Darlington Civic Theatre until Saturday, May 2nd, 2015. Tickets are available from the Darlington Operatic Society website.

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