Big hair and even bigger tunes – Hairspray has taken centre stage at a Black Country theatre and You Can’t Stop the Beat.
The much-loved musical opened at Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre last night after six months of rehearsals by devoted members of Bilston Operatic Company.
The show, set in Baltimore, Maryland in the Swinging Sixties, boasts a huge cast of 67 members.
Producer Laura Canadine, aged 26, from Bilston, said the talented group had put in their all. “They have put in over 160 hours of blood, sweat and tears, rehearsing twice a week, with more rehearsals added as we got closer to our opening night,” she said as the four-night run began.
“They have all worked so hard, I’m like a proud mum. I’m honestly overwhelmed by their dedication, we could have cast the show twice they are all so talented.”
Taking one of the lead roles is Grand Theatre worker Adam Starr.
Moving from front of house to centre spotlight, the 24-year-old from Wombourne is playing Edna Turnblad and said the role was a dream come true.
“I was 14 when I went to see the original cast of Hairspray perform in London,” he said. “From watching that show I went on to study musical theatre for five years.
“This is a dream role because the show taught me that everyone has the right to be accepted. It has been life changing to perform as Edna and I am very excited.”
The actor joined Bilston Operatic Company a year ago when he heard the next show would be his favourite musical.
He added: “When they announced the show I told the chair I would be playing Edna and here I am. It is a real mix of emotions and I am delighted to be involved, the cast are fantastic.
“It is a show that everyone can relate too and I invite everyone to come and see it.
“We have all worked so hard and I know that we will blink and it will be closing call on Saturday. Don’t miss it.”
The feel good musical, tells the story of voluptuous Tracy Turnblad and follows her dream to be a dancer and her fight for integration in the face of different prejudices.
It is based on the 1988 John Waters film and the 1960s downtown rhythm and blues is guaranteed to have audiences dancing in their seats.
Teenagers right through to pensioners will be taking the spotlight this week, with the youngest cast member just 12 and the oldest still treading the boards in her late 60s.
Hairspray runs until Saturday. The cast will perform seven shows, with matinees at 2.30pm on today and on Saturday.
Tickets cost from £8.50 to £19.
Bilston Operatic Company has been performing since 1927 is on the look out for new members ahead of working on next year’s show Our House.