REVIEW: Audience members have fun at opening night of Hairspray in Bury St Edmunds

The rousing production of Hairspray on stage at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds with the Irving Stage Company - photos by Andy Abbott
The rousing production of Hairspray on stage at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds with the Irving Stage Company - photos by Andy Abbott
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Colourful costumes, high-energy dance routines, talented singers and a hilariously convincing Edna Turnblad - this Irving Stage Company production of Hairspray really does have it all!

Performing to a near sell-out crowd, a few squeaky mics at last night’s opening night did little to distract audience members from having fun, with many clapping and singing along to popular numbers like ‘Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now’ and ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’.

The rousing production of Hairspray on stage at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds with the Irving Stage Company ANL-150325-080453009

The rousing production of Hairspray on stage at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds with the Irving Stage Company ANL-150325-080453009

I even spotted a few people dancing in the theatre’s gallery towards the end - the atmosphere was truly infectious.

Stephen Skrypec was spectacular as Edna, a natural performer and entertainer whose comic timing was impeccable and singing so good - particularly considering he was channelling his inner-woman throughout - that I found myself completely taken in by the character, forgetting at times that she was, in fact, being played by a man.

Brian Carmack was great as the enthusiastic host Corny Collins, while Nicola Platt-Nolan gave an impressive performance as the ‘plus-size’, big haired Tracy Turnblad, a white Baltimore teenager who realises her dreams of dancing on national TV with moves learned from black dancer Seaweed J Stubbs, played by Mattison Williams, going on to use her new-found fame to fight against racial segregation present in 1960s America.

She outwits racist TV producer Velma Von Tussle, played by Sally Boulter, and justifiably beats her daughter Amber Von Tassle, played by the talented Lucy Allen, in the Miss Teenage Hairspray competition, winning over heartthrob Link Larkin, played by Max Cunnell, along the way.

The rousing production of Hairspray on stage at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds with the Irving Stage Company ANL-150325-080526009

The rousing production of Hairspray on stage at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds with the Irving Stage Company ANL-150325-080526009

Hairspray is showing at the Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds, until Saturday.

For more details, or to book tickets, call the box office on 01284 769505 or visit www.theatreroyal.org/shows/hairspray/

The rousing production of Hairspray on stage at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds with the Irving Stage Company ANL-150325-080506009

The rousing production of Hairspray on stage at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds with the Irving Stage Company ANL-150325-080506009