The West End came to South Croydon with a wonderful performance of Hairspray staged in Big School. Old Palace of John Whitgift, Whitgift and WAVPA (Whitgift’s Saturday Performing Arts School) students joined forces to bring the audience on each of the three-night sell-out performances, backcombed beehives, styled kisscurls, and glittering costumes. It was a huge hit!
With period glitz, nostalgic glamour and toe-tapping numbers the cast, production team and band transported the audience back to 1960s downtown Baltimore. The musical (a record-setter which won the 2003 Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Musical for Marc Shaiman) follows teenager Tracy Turnblad’s, (played by Old Palace of John Whitgift student, Olivia O’Sullivan) dream of hitting the bigtime dancing on The Corny Collins Show amidst a backdrop of racial segregation and elitism. When Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight, leading to social change as Tracy campaigns for the show’s integration.
Parent, Howie Saunders said “It was by some margin the best school production of any kind I have ever seen. In fact, I had to constantly remind myself that we were at a school and not in a West End theatre. We were all treated to a spectacular show that will live long in the memory.”