When a new U.K. tour of “Hairspray” launches next year, theatergoers will see Mark Benton as Edna Turnblad.
The tour is expected to begin performances February 11 of next year at the Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays. After the first stint, the production will continue on to Sunderland, Bradford, Milton Keynes, Southampton, Liverpool, Glasgow, Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff, Nottingham, Dublin, Bristol, Leeds, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Norwich.
Benton is currently starring in the BBC series “Waterloo Road,” and said in a press release he is excited about the upcoming tour.
“I can’t wait to start “Hairspray,” he said in the statement, “it’s going to be amazing fun and an interesting challenge for me as it’s my first adventure into the world of musicals… that I get to go on that adventure playing a Baltimore housewife is an added bonus! As a musical I think it has everything, great songs, great script, really interesting story and lots and lots of laughs… I hope!”
Benton has appeared in a variety of stage productions, including work at The National Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, the Old Vic, the Royal Court and the Royal Shakespeare Company
Here’s what the traveling musical’s official website says about the show:
In “Hairspray,” it’s 1962, the ‘50s are out and change is in the air. Baltimore’s Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion – to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance programme, “The Corny Collins Show” and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the programme’s reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her ‘do? Only in Hairspray!
Stage Entertainment will produce the show, and the company’s Rebecca Quigley spoke about the upcoming production.
“Just the mention of ‘Hairspray’ guarantees a huge smile from anyone you talk to and we felt it was high time that people across the country get to see Tracy, Edna, Wilbur and the gang again.”