News: Initial Casting And Further Dates Announced For The Hairspray Tour

March 11, 2024
News: Initial Casting And Further Dates Announced For The Hairspray Tour

Hairspray the musical is embarking on a major tour beginning this year. Today initial casting has been announced along with further tour dates. The tour will be directed by Brenda Edwards and Paul Kerryson, with choreography by Drew Mconie.

Principle casting includes, Neil Hurst as Edna Turnblad, Joanne Clifton as Velma Von Tussle (From 9 September), Gina Murray as Velma Von Tussle (from 16th July to 7th September), Soloman Davy as Link Larkin, Declan Egan as Corny Collins, Alexandra Emmerson-Kirby as Tracy Turnblad, Katlo as Little Inez, Reece Richards as Seaweed and Allana Taylor as Amber Von Tussle. The ensemble include 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 to be announced soon.

Michelle Ndegwa will make her theatrical debut in the principal role of Motormouth Maybelle having been selected from more than 3000 open audition applicants. Michelle Ndegwa is a soul and gospel singer, best known for her performances as a vocalist for the Gorillaz. She has also recorded with Billy Porter, Gregory Porter, Shapeshifters, Yard Act, Becky Hill, Rita Ora and Deseri. Her touring, festival and concert work includes: background vocals for Wizkid, Lizzo, Jorja Smith, Emeli Sande, Becky Hill, Nubya Carcia, TLC, Liam Gallagher, Ray BLK, Nina Nesbit, Shakka, Tom Odell and Trevor Nelson. She has performed at festivals including Coachella, Glastonbury and BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

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.

Brenda Edwards who previously played Motormouth Maybelle in three productions of Hairspray directed by Paul Kerryson, now joins this production to direct alongside Kerryson. The production 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 the 16th July 2024 and tour through to April 2025.

The creative team includes Directors Brenda Edwards and Paul Kerryson, Choreography by Drew McOnie, Musical Supervising and Arrangement by Ben Atkinson, Set and Costume Design by Takis, Lighting Design by Philip Gladwell, Sound Design by Ben Harrison, Video Design by George Reeves, Musical Direction and Supervision by Richard Atkinson, Projection Design by George Reeve, Casting by Grindrod Burton and Resident Director is Juliet Gough.

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 and 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.

Hairspray is produced by Mark Goucher, Matthew Gale, and Laurence Myers.

Tour Dates:


Manchester Palace: 16th – 27th July

Wales Millennium Centre -Cardiff: 29th July – 3rd August

Canterbury Marlowe: 6th – 10th August

Cheltenham Everyman: 13th – 17th August

Liverpool Empire: 19th – 24th August

Belfast Grand Opera House: 26th – 31st August

Milton Keynes Theatre: 2nd – 7th September

Southend Cliffs Pavilion: 9th – 14th September

Birmingham Hippodrome: 16th – 21st September

Leicester Curve: 23rd – 28th September

Brighton Theatre Royal: 30th September – 5th October

Edinburgh Playhouse: 7th – 12th October

Sheffield Lyceum: 14th – 19th October

New Wimbledon Theatre: 21st – 26th October

York Grand Opera House: 28th October – 2nd November

Nottingham Theatre Royal: 4th – 9th November

Newcastle Theatre Royal: 11th – 16th November

Hull New Theatre: 18th – 23rd November

Bradford Theatres: 25th – 30th November


Southampton Mayflower Theatre: 7th – 11th January

Hall for Cornwall: 13th – 18th January

Aberdeen His Majesty’s Theatre: 20th – 25th January

Glasgow Kings Theatre: 27th January – 1st February

Wolverhampton Grand: 3rd – 8th February

Norwich Theatre: 10th – 15th February

Aylesbury: 17th – 22nd February

Bristol Hippodrome: 24th February – 1st March

Woking New Victoria: 31st March – 5th April

Venue Cymru: 7th – 12th April

Sunderland Empire: 14th – 19th April

Further dates for March and April to be announced soon

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