It’s Hairspray for the 45!

Nov 28 2019 | By More

Balerno TC hit Baltimore

Balerno Theatre Company is moving away from its traditional pantomime for this year’s seasonal offering at the Church Hill Theatre and returning to its roots to stage the Edinburgh amateur premiere of the adult version of the musical Hairspray.

The company is also trimming back the cast for the show, which opens on Wednesday 4 December 2019. From its usual 60 down to a slightly more manageable 45 on stage to tell the story of love in 1960s Baltimore through a celebration of difference, courage and dancing.

Susanna Anderson, Althea Stentiford, Bola Matilda Okeowo, Ciara Rankin. Pic: Jessica Gioia

The company says that in recent years, its productions at the Church Hill Theatre have centered around larger casts, mainly comprising children from the local communities of Currie and Balerno.

“This adult-led production has seen us widen our casting net and draw in adult performers from across the City of Edinburgh and beyond,” they say.

“After actively sourcing BAME performers during our audition process, we are also delighted to have a rich diversity of performers from across different ethnic backgrounds.”

Set in Baltimore in 1962, Hairspray is based on the film written and directed by John Waters. It tells of Tracy Turnblad, a loveable high school student who is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto TV via the Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance program.

And once she does, she becomes a local star and something of an unstoppable force as she fights against inequality and for racial integration on the programme.

hilarious and energetic

The production is being directed by Graeme Shield, who was recently on hand at the Edinburgh King’s, with the Southern Light Opera’s production of Titanic in 2017, when he helped out Andy Johnston on assistant director duties.

Hairspray is a hilarious and energetic musical with something for everyone”, says Shield. “As we started working through the script we all fell in love with Tracy, a girl who wouldn’t accept the world as it was and did something about it.

“We invite you enjoy the nostalgia of the fashions, the pastiches of music and take a step back in time to a different era!”

And with an auspicious 45 people on the stage as well as revolutions a minute on that retro Sixties vinyl record player, there really should be plenty of Motion in the Ocean to ensure that no, You can’t stop the Beat!

Hairspray (Balerno TC)
Church Hill Theatre, 33 Morningside Road, EH10 4DR
Wednesday 4 – Saturday 7 December 2019

Wed – Sat: 7.30pm, Mat, Sat: 2.30pm
Tickets and details:  Book here.


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