Claire Sweeney heads new production of Hairspray

Claire Sweeney as Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray. Images Hugo Glendinning.
Claire Sweeney as Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray. Images Hugo Glendinning.

TV favourites Claire Sweeney, Tony Maudsley and Peter Duncan join Baltimore’s favourite teen in a new production of the sensational musical Hairspray!.

Maudsley (Benidorm) will don the outsized frock to play Edna Turnblad in the major 40-week UK tour which will open at Leicester’s Curve Theatre this autumn.

Claire Sweeney (Educating Rita, Guys and Dolls) as you’ve never seen her before, is Velma Von Tussle, with Olivier Award nominated actor and much-loved Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan playing Wilbur Turnblad.

Tony Maudsley
Tony Maudsley
Wilbur Turnblad (Peter Duncan). Credit Hugo Glendinning
Peter Duncan

British singer and West End performer Brenda Edwards (Chicago, We Will Rock You, The X Factor) is Motormouth Maybelle with the knockout Freya Sutton reprising the role of Tracy Turnblad.

Other casting: Jon Tsouras, Dex Lee, Ashley Gilmour, Lauren Stroud, Monique Young, Karis Jack, Adam Price, Tracey Penn and Layton Williams.

It’s Baltimore 1962, where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV.

Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for equality, bagging local heartthrob Link Larkin along the way.

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 and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, 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 Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical.

A film of the musical was released in 2007 which starred John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and James Marsden.

*Tony Maudsley, Claire Sweeney and Peter Duncan’s final performance in Hairspray will be January 30, 2016 at Newcastle Theatre Royal. The roles of Edna, Velma and Wilbur for the remaining tour dates will be announced in due course.

2015 Tour Dates

September 9 – 19, Leicester Curve
September 21-26, New Theatre Oxford
September 28-October 3, Royal and Derngate, Northampton
October 5-10, Malvern Theatre
October 12-17, Liverpool Empire
October 19-24, Hull New Theatre
October 26-31, Manchester Palace Theatre
November 2-7, New Wimbledon Theatre
November 9-14, The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
November 16-21, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
November 23-28, Ipswich Regent Theatre
November 30-December 12, Theatre Royal Brighton
December 14-January 9, Birmingham Alexandra Theatre


January 18-30, Newcastle Theatre Royal
February 1-6, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
February 8-13, The Lyceum, Sheffield
February 15-20, Cambridge Corn Exchange
February 22-27, Edinburgh Playhouse
March 7-12, Bristol Hippodrome
March 14-19, New Victoria Theatre, Woking
March 21-26, Cardiff New Theatre
April 4-9, Milton Keynes Theatre
April 11-16, Leeds Grand Theatre
April 18-23, Theatre Royal Plymouth
April 25-30, The Marlowe, Canterbury
May 2-7, The Churchill Theatre, Bromley
May 9-14, Regent Theatre, Stoke
May 16-21, Southend Palace Theatre

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