Marvellous news about the UK tour of Hairspray – I genuinely can’t think of anyone better than Michael Ball to lead this production! Despite having seen this about 7/8 times in the West End now, I will definitely try and see this at a regional theatre too! 😀
Below is a rather good article published in The Stage which gives further details:
Published Monday 10 August 2009 at 15:14 by Alistair Smith (The Stage).
Michael Ball will lead the cast of the new touring version of West End musical Hairspray, the show’s producers have announced.
A new production of the show – in addition to the London stage version at the Shaftesbury Theatre – will tour the UK from April 7, 2010, when it will open at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, before visiting Glasgow, Southampton and Manchester. Ball will appear as Edna Turnblad at these venues with further star casting for future tour dates expected to be announced shortly.
The tour also marks the first stage of a “closer working relationship” between Ball and producer Stage Entertainment. This will involve developing new work and roles both onstage and in a production capacity for Ball in the future, including a major, but as yet unnamed, musical revival in 2011.
Ball said: “I knew when I originally took on the part of Edna that she was going to be a big part of my life, in every way, but I never realised just how big. Hairspray is truly one of the greatest experiences of my career and the chance to have just a few more nights in those frocks was an opportunity I couldn’t miss! With so much on I’m unable to do all dates but I promise that we’ll have some brilliant performers lined up for our UK tour. Moving forward, to now be working as an associate producer with Stage Entertainment developing new shows, new roles and new opportunities in the future is an honour, and something I can’t wait to get stuck in to.”
Producer Adam Spiegel added: “We are over the moon that Michael has agreed to launch the Hairspray tour for us. The show has been a huge success in London, not to mention around the world, and Michael has been a big, big part of the Hairspray story so far. It’s doubly exciting that not only do more people around the UK now get to see his gorgeous Edna Turnblad, but we as a company get to work with Michael more closely than ever behind the scenes as we develop new work together.”
Hairspray’s West End staging at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London recouped its capitalisation in 29 weeks. The show opened in October 2007 and won Best Musical at the 2008 Olivier Awards, as well as Best Actor in a Musical for Ball. It is now booking at the Shaftesbury until October 2010.
UPDATE: The touring cast has been confirmed as:
Full casting has been announced for the national tour of Hairspray, which kicks off at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on 7 April 2010 (previews from 30 March).
Joining Michael Ball, Michael Starke (replacing Phill Jupitus) and Brian Conley, who will alternate in the role of Edna Turnblad are: Les Dennis (Eurobeat) as Wilbur, Danny Bayne(Grease is the Word) as Corny Colllins, Liam Doyle (High School Musical 2) as Link Larkin and Laurie Scarth as Tracy Turnblad.
Other cast members include: Sandra Marvin (Motormouth Maybelle), Gillian Kirkpatrick (Velma Von Tussle), Wayne Robinson (Seaweed), Emma Dukes (Penny Pingleton), Clare Hulse (Amber Von Tussle) and Seliza Sebastian (Little Inez).
Following Cardiff, the tour continues until 9 January 2011 to Glasgow, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Leeds, Manchester, Plymouth, Liverpool, Sunderland, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Birmingham, Dublin, Bradford and Edinburgh (See News, 10 Aug 2009).
The current West End production of Hairspray finishes at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 28 March 2010.