ITS not often that the cast of a musical gets every person in the theatre up on their feet and dancing along to the finale, but not one person in could resist the temptation to bop, click or shimmy along with the cast of Hairspray at the Bristol Hippodrome.

Set in the 1962, this energetic and heart warming production was a breath of fresh air, tackling the sensitive issues of that era such as racial segregation and perceived body image.Directed by Paul Kerryson and choreographed by Drew McOnie, this modern production of the hit musical Hairspray is a musical based on the 1988 film of the same name which starred Divine and Ricki Lake by cult filmmaker John Waters.

The story follows the hopes and dreams of Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, who is on a mission to dance her way onto national TV, and uses her new-found fame to fight for equality.

Firstly we were transported into Tracy's bedroom where she gets ready for the day whilst signing the catchy Good morning Baltimore number.

I was surprised to read that this was Rebecca Mendoza's professional debut as Tracy Turnblad, as she certainly held her own amongst the other experienced actors.

Edna and Wilbur Turnblad, played by Matt Rixon and Norman Pace, had me in stitches along with the rest of the audience, their duet was just comedy gold.

I was also impressed by the strong vocals of the entire cast, but West End's Brenda Edwards starring as Motormouth Maybelle really stood out vocally, and Bad Education's Layton Williams' dancing was just incredible.

A number of times throughout the production the clever use of splitting the stage into two or even three different scenes really made you feel as if you were in several places at once. The same technique was used to portray what Tracey was watching on her TV, it really worked well.

You really cant stop the beat of this Hairspray production, seriously - I was humming the lovely songs for days after.

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