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You can’t stop the beat as Hairspray heads back out on tour


You can’t stop the beat as Hairspray heads back out on tour

This week the producers of the 2024/25 UK and Ireland tour of Hairspray have announced initial casting and further tour dates…

Brenda Edwards who previously played Motormouth Maybelle in three productions of Hairspray joins this production to direct alongside Paul Kerryson. The musical is choreographed by Olivier Award winner and artistic director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Drew McOnie and will open in Manchester at the Palace Theatre on 16th July 2024 and tour through to April 2025.

Casting includes Neil Hurst (Edna Turnblad), Joanne Clifton (Velma Von Tussle) – with Gina Murray performing the role from 16 July – 7 September only, Michelle Ndegwa (Motormouth Maybelle), Soloman Davy (Link Larkin), Declan Egan (Corny Collins) Alexandra Emmerson-Kirby (Tracy Turnblad), Katlo (Little Inez), Reece Richards (Seaweed) and Allana Taylor (Amber Von Tussle).  Ensemble includes: Ben Anderson, Grace Anyiam, Nina Bell, Joseph Bristow, Vanessa Dumatey, Rebecca French, Stuart Hickey, Jaiden Lodge, Olly Manley, Sasha Monique, Jacob Smith and Issy Wilman. Further casting will be announced soon.

Michelle Ndegwa will make her professional debut in the principal role of Motormouth Maybelle having been selected from more than 3000 people who applied to the open auditions in November last year. A soul and gospel singer, best known for her performances as a vocalist for the Gorillaz, Michelle has recorded with Billy Porter, Gregory Porter (Troy Miller), Shapeshifters, Yard Act, Becky Hill, Rita Ora, and Deseri.

Alexandra Emmerson-Kirby will also be making her professional debut as Tracy Turnblad. Her passion for musical theatre started at her local YMCA Theatre in Scarborough after which she went on to train professionally at Italia Conti where she recently graduated in Musical Theatre & Dance.

The full tour dates for this iconic musical comedy featuring some of musical theatre’s best hit songs including Welcome To The 60s, You Can’t Stop The Beat and Good Morning Baltimore by Academy Award, Tony and Emmy winning duo Marc Shaiman (music and lyrics) and Scott Wittman (lyrics) are:

After breaking box office records and delighting audiences in the West End, on Broadway and on the big screen since 1988, the timeless story of Hairspray centres around heroine Tracy Turnblad, who has big hair, a big heart, and big dreams to dance her way onto national TV, and into the heart of teen idol Link Larkin. When Tracy becomes a local star, she is able to use her newfound fame to fight for liberation, tolerance, and interracial unity in Baltimore. But can she win equality – and Link’s heart – without denting her ‘do?

Hairspray is a musical based on the 1988 film of the same name which starred Divine and Ricki Lake by cult filmmaker John Waters. With music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman Marc Shaiman and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, the stage production of Hairspray originally opened to rave reviews on Broadway in 2002 and subsequently won eight Tony Awards. The production opened in London at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2007 and won four Olivier Awards including Best New Musical.

Proving to be an international success, Hairspray has also played in South Africa, Japan, South Korea, China and Dubai. Following the musical’s phenomenal success on stage, a film of the musical was released in 2007 which starred John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and James Marsden.

For the full list of tour dates and more details visit

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