Aldenham School, Founded 1597

Hairspray on Stage at Aldenham

The Performing Arts are certainly alive and thriving at Aldenham as the latest senior production of the biggest, boldest and most beautiful musical, Hairspray, demonstrated so well. A true delight for the three nights that it played to full houses in the School Theatre, the Aldenham cast rose to the challenge of this big production with gusto. From the excellent performances to the toe-tapping dance routines, the colourful costumes, the musical high notes, and the superb staging and lighting, the evening was full of humour and boundless entertainment. There was never a dull moment.

The musical Hairspray is set in the 1960s against a background of the civil rights movement in Baltimore, with this story line a very important aspect of the show. Empowering for African Americans, it brings the audience's attention to the true events from that era. Hairspray continues to be one of the most widely produced musicals, not only because of its wit and charm, but also because of the beautiful message of acceptance and progress that it portrays.

Right from the first chord in the opening scene we knew that we were in for a treat as the brilliant orchestra struck up and we were transported back to the 1960's. Sterling work by all the talented cast members, with special mention to the main leads of Emma Gillespie as the confident, talented and determined Tracy; Sarah McMahon the good intentioned Penny and Myles Mcleod the cocky but surprisingly lovable Seaweed J. Stubbs who falls for her; Jolie Sharpe as the charismatic host of the Corny Collins’ Show and Jack Vera as the extremely attractive star heartthrob Link Larkin.

Who can forget the many humorous scenes, not least Jake Doyle’s comedic timing as the boisterous and commanding Edna along with ‘her’ husband Marco Radice-Morras as Wilburn. There were so many superb performances that it’s difficult to name them all individually.

Along with every lighting cue, scene change and sound effect operated by our students, it was a great showcase for the professionalism and wonderful talent we have in abundance.

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