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Hairspray added to Norwich Theatre Royal calendar

PUBLISHED: 01:01 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:02 01 July 2010

Michael Starke as Edna in Hairspray.

Michael Starke as Edna in Hairspray.

Kim Briscoe

One of the West End's most popular musical comedies is on its way to Norwich.

The feelgood show Hairspray will be heading a number of new additions to Norwich Theatre Royal's autumn and winter line-up.

One of the West End's most popular musical comedies is on its way to Norwich.

The feelgood show Hairspray will be heading a number of new additions to Norwich Theatre Royal's autumn and winter line-up.

The musical, which takes to the stage on February 1 to 12, 2011, features a strong cast headed by Michael Starke as Edna Turnblad and who is best known for his soap role as Sinbad in Channel Four's Brookside.

Joining him will be former Monkee, Mickey Dolenz, who is also an accomplished stage performer with credits including the Broadway and national tour of Grease, and writing and directing the West End production of Bugsy Malone.

Set in the 60s, the hit show follows the story of Tracey Turnblad - a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart - who becomes a top teen celebrity after being spotted on television show The Corny Collins Show.

Two new productions are also being added to the autumn 2010 programme. For the first time, To The Manor Born stars Peter Bowles and Penelope Keith reunite on stage to star in The Rivals, which runs from September 27 to October 2.

Set in 1775, Peter Hall directs the classic comedy which sees the fashionable world descend on Bath to take the waters, swap gossip and show off.

Already announced is the Monty Python inspired Spamalot musical, which runs from October 4 to 9, and will star Hayley Tamaddon, who shot to fame as Delilah Dingle in Emmerdale and won the nation's heart in Dancing on Ice.

Top stand-up Sean Lock brings his brand new show Lockipedia to Norwich on Sunday, September 19, while fellow comedian Ross Noble visits on December 5.

A 26-piece orchestra, top singers and some stylish dance routines are promised with a two-hour feast of nostalgia in Strictly Big Band on Friday, October 22, at 8pm.

Music of a different type takes centre stage on Sunday, October 31, with the passion and zest of Argentinian music, song and dance celebrated in Tango Passion.

And there is a festive treat for theatre-goers when singer, actor and television presenter Aled Jones heads up a Christmas concert on Sunday, December 19, at 7.30pm.

Theatre spokesman John Bultitude said: “We are very excited about the new additions to our programme. Hairspray will be the perfect antidote to the February blues promising plenty of laughs as well as West End production values and a top-class cast.

“Peter Bowles and Penelope Keith will bring a real touch of acting class to The Rivals and it will be a delight to have their unique acting chemistry on stage here in the city, and the success of Spamalot speaks for itself. Add in the five new one-night shows and we are expecting heavy demand at the box office when the shows go on sale.”

Booking opens for all new shows on:

June 8 - Gold Friends and Corporate Club

June 9 - Friends by post, fax and online

June 18 - Friends in person and by phone

June 28 - Public booking by post, fax and online

July 2 - Public booking in person and by phone.

The box office is on 01603 630000 or online at www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk.

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