DAOS – ‘HAIRSPRAY’ – March 2015 at CAST Theatre, DONCASTER
Les Smith, NODA
If anyone likes a show with a true feel good factor they need look no further than this musical, Hairspray, it has everything you would want in a show, good music, good dancing, a decent plot and some great humour.
The story for this show is not the usual boy meets girl, boy loses girl and boy gets girl back type but does have quite a dark plot insomuch as it is mainly about prejudice towards both large people and also black people but it is done with some good humour and to get this story across you need to have good actors on stage to do it. Well Doncaster Amateurs certainly had some not only good but great actors in the guise of Rebecca McMinn as Tracy Turnblad and Davron Hicks as her mother Edna Turnblad. Both these gave excellent performances and created perfect and believable characters.
The show opens with Tracy still in bed just about to wake up and sings
“Good morning Baltimore”, a great number which called for expert dancing from both the chorus and principals alike and this was the first of many great numbers in this show.
I mention Davron Hicks as a larger than life mother of Tracy, Edna, and it was a true pleasure to watch his performance, I especially enjoyed the duet
between Edna and “her” husband Wilbur played by Sean Walker, “Timeless to Me”, this is a great number with some good comedy lines which both Edna and Wilbur were able to bring out right until the end when they had the audience in stitches.
There were many other great characterisations in this show such as
Alex Wilkins as Corny Collins, Chantal Perkins as Penny Pingleton, Karen Powell as Prudy Pingleton, all giving more great performances to add to the experience of the show.
I also enjoyed Karen Wilkins as Motormouth Maybelle Karen Wilkins played Motormouth Maybellewho was able to give a truly convincing performance of this momma type person culminating in her rendition of “I know where I’ve Been” which almost brought the house down.
All shows have what you would call the “baddies” and in this one we had two in the forms of Gwen Walker as Velma Von Tussle and Ellie Sayles as her daughter Amber, both these gave sterling performances, Amber being the typical spoilt child and Velma as her pushy mother who only wants the best for her “talented” daughter.
There were far too many good performances in this production than I have space to mention but needless to say they all worked their socks off to produce and excellent show.
I did have a couple of criticisms, from the sound system which gave one or two problems on the night I was there, a couple of times characters entered the stage but we could not hear the first few words until their microphones “kicked in”, I also have to say there were a couple of times when the orchestra could have been a little quieter.
Having mentioned these couple of niggles it did not detract too much from the overall enjoyment of the finished show and judging by the applause and laughter from my fellow audience members it was a show enjoyed by all.
Well done to all involved in this first class show.