New Hairspray tour – Tony Maudsley and Claire Sweeney lead cast

Velma Von Tussle (Claire Sweeney)

Claire Sweeney plays Velma Von Tussle in the brand new tour of Hairspray. Pictures: Hugo Glendinning

A new production of Hairspray will embark on a major UK tour in 2015/16. The musical comedy will begin its UK tour at Leicester Curve on 9 September 2015 and will then tour to more than 25 venues across the UK, including a Christmas residency at Birmingham Alexandra Theatre in December 2015.

Tony Maudsley (well known for his long-running role on ITV1’s Benidorm) will play Edna TurnbladHe will be joined by TV presenter and stage actress Claire Sweeney as Velma Von Tussle, Olivier Award nominated actor and much-loved Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan as Wilbur Turnblad and British singer and West End performer Brenda Edwards as Motormouth Maybelle.

Freya Sutton will reprise the role of Tracy Turnblad alongside established musical theatre performer Jon Tsouras (A Chorus Line) who will play the role of Corny Collins. Dex Lee (The Scottsboro Boys) will play Seaweed, Ashley Gilmour (Miss Saigon) will play Link Larkin, Lauren Stroud (Wicked) will play Amber, Monique Young (Top Hat) will play Penny, Karis Jack (Urinetown) will play Little Inez and Layton Williams (Bad Education, Billy Elliot) will play Duane. Also in the ensemble are Adam Price and Tracey Penn. Further casting will be announced in due course.

Hairspray will be directed by Paul Kerryson, with choreography by Drew McOnie and musical direction by Ben Atkinson. The show has music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, with a book by Thomas Meehan and Mark O’Donnell.

Well known for his long-running role on ITV1’s Benidorm as Kenneth, Tony Maudsley is an acclaimed actor of both stage and screen. Maudsley has previously appeared on stage in A Day in Dull Armour (Royal Court Theatre), Dogs Barking (Bush Theatre) and South Pacific (UK tour).

Claire Sweeney first came to prominence with her long-running role as Lindsey Corkhill in Brookside. Since leaving the soap in 2003, she has gone on to stage roles in Chicago, Dirty Dancing, Legally Blonde: The Musical, Educating Rita, Guys and Dolls, Tell Me On a Sunday and the world tour of Fosse. As a presenter on Magic FM, Sweeney hosts a musical theatre-themed show.

Edna Turnblad (Tony Maudsley)

Tony Maudsley is stepping into the shoes of Edna Turnblad when Hairspray begins its tour at Leicester Curve in the autumn

Peter Duncan is an Olivier Award nominated actor who first came to attention as a presenter on the iconic television show Blue Peter. He began his career on stage with Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre company at the Old Vic and subsequently went on to be Olivier Award nominated for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in The Card and starred in the title role in Barnum. In addition to his roles on stage, Duncan has also created original pantomimes at Hackney Empire and Broadway Theatre as well as writing and directing Oxford Playhouse’s annual Christmas production.

Brenda Edwards was first noted for her vocal talent in 2005 when she entered the X Factor. After finishing the competition in fourth place under the tutelage of Sharon Osbourne, she went on to star in long-running musicals such as Chicago (Adelphi and Cambridge Theatres) and We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre and UK tour) as well as Galt MacDermot’s The Human Comedy (Young Vic) and Carmen Jones (Royal Festival Hall). In addition to her work in musical theatre, Edwards has also headlined a series of shows at Ronnie Scott’s and the Pigalle Club.

Freya Sutton will be reprising her role of Tracy Turnblad after originally starring in the UK and Ireland 2013 tour of Hairspray.

Hairspray is produced by Mark Goucher and Laurence Myers, Tom O’Connell for QNQ, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Gale King Productions and Curve theatre, Leicester.

* Hairspray runs at Leicester Curve from 9–19 September 2015, before touring to Aylesbury (21–26 September), Northampton (28 September–3 October), Malvern (5–10 October), Liverpool (12–17 October), Hull (19–24 October), Manchester (26–31 October), Wimbledon (2–7 November), Bradford (9–14 November), Southampton (16–21 November), Ipswich (23–28 November), Brighton (30 November–12 December), Birmingham (14 December–2 January 2016), Newcastle (18–30 January), Aberdeen (1–6 February), Edinburgh (22–27 February), Oxford (29 February–5 March), Bristol (7–12 March), Woking (14–19 March), Cardiff (21-26 March), Norwich (28 March–2 April), Milton Keynes (4–9 April), Leeds (11–16 April), Plymouth (18–23 April), Stoke (25–30 April), Bromley (2–7 May), Canterbury (9–14 May) and Southend (16–21 May).


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