'Come on Ipswich let's dance' - Hairspray makes strong Regent return

Hairspray at the Ipswich Regent

The talented cast of Hairspray took to the stage at the Ipswich Regent on Monday, August 23, 2021 - Credit: Mark Senior

On Monday evening, the touring production of hit feel-good musical Hairspray, delighted a large audience at the Ipswich Regent Theatre.

Starring former X Factor contestant and Loose Women presenter Brenda Edwards, Hairspray was simply the perfect musical to bring the feel good factor back to the theatre in St Helen's Street.

In only the third week of their tour the talented cast gave an energetic performance and seemed to be loving every single minute of being back on stage. 

Katy Brace as the unstoppable Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray 

Katy Brace as the unstoppable Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray - Credit: Mark Senior

Hairspray tells the story of loveable Baltimore teenager Tracy Turnblad who has big dreams of going to college, performing on stage and marrying heartthrob Link Larkin. 

Though undeniably an uplifting tale, Tracy's journey examines tough subjects of racial inequality, bullying and body image - but she takes it all in her stride and ultimately teaches the audience a lesson or two about acceptance and love. 

Hairspray at the Ipswich Regent

Hairspray will be at the Ipswich Regent until Saturday, August 28 - Credit: Mark Senior

Brenda Edwards as local radio personality Motormouth Maybelle, gave an absolutely barnstorming vocal masterclass - the audience was clapping before she had even finished her empowering performance of 'I Know Where I've Been'. 

Another highlight was the duo of Norman Pace as Wilbur Turnblad and Alex Bourne as his wife Edna, who had themselves and the audience in stitches as they sang (You're) Timeless To Me. 

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And if you are looking for a star in the making, Akeem Ellis-Hyman as Seaweed, had talent in abundance, his dancing and charisma had me feeling jealous that I wasn't his love interest Penny Pingleton. 

Hairspray at the Ipswich Regent

Stunning, singing, dancing and costumes, helped make Hairspray even more special - Credit: Mark Senior

I have been lucky enough to see Hairspray at the Regent previously and a fantastic version performed by the Irving Stage Company at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds. 

My 'date' for the evening however, had only ever seen the 2007 film version starring Zac Efron and John Travolta. 

She loved it and like the rest of the audience was up on her feet dancing, clapping, and cheering along at the end as Katy Brace, who played Tracy shouting: "Come on Ipswich let's dance." 

If you are looking for a show that will make you feel better about life, Hairspray continues its run at the Regent until Saturday, August, 28.

Tickets are available on the Ipswich Theatres website - ipswichtheatres.co.uk.