West End and Broadway’s hit musical comedy HAIRSPRAY will tour the UK and Ireland tour through 2013, visiting the Theatre Royal Nottingham from 2-13 July.



Theatre Royal Nottingham
Tuesday 2 – Saturday 13 July

The cast is lead by stage and screen star Mark Benton as larger than life Edna Turnblad, EastEnders’ Lucy Benjamin as scheming TV executive Velma Von Tussle and X Factor finalist Marcus Collins as too cool for school Seaweed Stubbs. They are joined by newcomer Freya Sutton as big-hearted, big-haired teen heroine Tracy Turnblad and original West End cast member Sandra Marvin, as Motormouth Maybelle.

Mark Benton is one of the country’s most loved and recognisable television actors with roles in programmes as diverse as Early Doors, Eureka Street, Catterick, Second Coming, City Lights, Booze Cruise, Land Girls and The Street. He can currently be seen as Chalky in the BBC series Waterloo Road. On stage he has appeared in work at the National Theatre, the Old Vic, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Donmar Warehouse, the Royal Court and the RSC.

Lucy Benjamin’s earliest credits include the musicals Annie, Barnardo and Worzel Gummidge in the West End before making her television debut in Doctor Who. She played Julie Craig on ITV’s hit teen drama Press Gang before starring as Lisa Fowler in the BBC’s EastEnders. During her time on EastEnders she featured in some of the show’s biggest storylines including the infamous Who Shot Phil Mitchell? saga, with more than 22 million people tuning in to see her character revealed as the shooter. Other television credits include Casualty, Kingdom, The Afternoon Play, Doctors and, most recently, Holby City and in 2006 Lucy won The X Factor: Battle of the Stars. On stage she has appeared in The Pretender Agenda in the West End, the UK tour of Framed and last year’s sell out production of Peter Pan at the Mayflower Theatre Southampton.

Liverpool born and bred, Marcus Collins rose to fame, and won the hearts of the nation, on ITV1’s 2011 season of The X Factor. Mentored by music legend Gary Barlow and hugely popular throughout the series, Marcus eventually finished as runner up in front of a sold out audience at Wembley Arena and more than 14 million viewers watching at home. Since then he has toured the UK as part of The X Factor Live tour and has released the Top 10 album, Marcus Collins. His leading role in Hairspray marks his musical theatre debut.

The cast also includes Gabriella Brooks, Lauren Hood, Josh Piterman, Paul Rider, Wendy Sommerville, Daniel Stockton Gemma Sutton with Jocasta Almgill, Sophia Brown, Lori Barker, Andrew Bryant, David Ribi, Lewis Kirk, Piers Bate, Amelia Adams-Pearce, Francesca Hoffman, Samantha Hull, Fela Lufadeju, Noel Samuels, Claudia Kariuki, Simone Mistry-Palmer, Arun Blair-Mangat, Sam Lathwood, Laura Thorogood, Nikki Pocklington and Mark Hilton.

It’s 1962, the 50s are out and change is in the air. Baltimore’s Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion – dancing. She wins a spot on the local TV dance programme, The Corny Collins Show and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a trendsetting hair-hopper like Tracy get her massively shy Mom out of the apartment, beat evil Amber to be crowned Miss Hairspray, integrate Corny’s show for good AND win the heart of local heartthrob Link Larkin, all without denting her super high ‘do’? If anyone can, Tracy can!

The musical HAIRSPRAY opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London on October 2007, recouping its entire capitalisation in record-breaking time. The show received universal critical acclaim and smash hit business, eventually playing more than 1000 performances to well over 1 million people. At the 2008 Olivier Awards, HAIRSPRAY won Best Musical, as well as a further three awards from a record breaking eleven nominations. The show has also won Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards, the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers Choice Awards, the Critics’ Circle Awards and the Variety Club Showbiz Awards. It embarked on its first UK tour in 2010 playing to nearly ¾ million people in sold out houses across Britain. Further afield the show has played at venues around the world, including six years on Broadway, and won more than 40 major theatre awards.

Official website www.hairspraythetour.com