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A musical spectacular that will make you want to move!


By Tim Coulson


Hairspray at the Cresset
Hairspray at the Cresset

Big hair, big moves and big voices - the latest production by Peterborough’s oldest musical theatre society had me smiling from ear to ear when I left the Cresset, with a hop, skip and a jump in my step.

Peterborough Operatic and Dramatic Society (PODS) wowed a sell-out auditorium on its opening night of Hairspray, the international stage and screen musical spectacular.

Hairspray at the Cresset
Hairspray at the Cresset

One of my favourite feel-good films, I had high expectations for the musical and those expectations were not only met but exceeded - thanks to the pure brilliance of the cast and crew.

From the very beginning, I was instantly transported to the swinging 60s, with Northamptonshire starlet, Katie-Rose Parker, who plays the show’s heroine, Tracy Turnblad, belting her heart out to ‘Good Morning Baltimore’. You instantly fell in love with this ‘big girl with a big heart’ - a love that only grew as the show went on.

But the talent didn’t stop there, PODS’ veteran Alex Broadfield, who plays Tracy’s agoraphobic mother, Edna, shone alongside her darling daughter - reducing the audience to tears of laughter with her hilarious jokes and ‘hot mamma’ moves. Especially when partnered with Calvin Lawrence, Edna’s husband, Wilbur - who delighted everyone with their duet of ‘You’re Timeless to Me’.

A surprisingly young cast, but one that shone with talent, young lads, Ben Landy, who plays Seaweed and Sam Makepeace-Beach, who plays Tracy’s heartthrob Link Larkin, got hearts a fluttering with their charisma and charm, and not to mention those melting moves.

Other stand out performances included Penny Pingleton, played by Hannah Joy Gibson, Amber Von Tussle, played by Jericho Taylor, and Motormouth Maybelle, played by Leitina Reuben-Travers - what a voice! But my favourite of all has to be Velma Von Tussle, played by Amanda Villamayor, so wicked you couldn’t help but like her!



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