Cast announced for new UK tour of Hairspray

Hairspray poster

Casting has been announced for the new UK tour of hit musical Hairspray this year.

Brenda Edwards (Loose Women, ITV; We Will Rock You, London Coliseum) who has previously played ‘Motormouth’ Maybelle in three tours of Hairspray will join the creative team alongside Paul Kerryson (Chicago, Sweeney Todd; Curve Theatre) to helm the new national UK and Ireland tour.

Choreographed by Olivier Award winner Drew McOnie (In the Heights, King’s Cross Theatre; Jesus Christ Superstar, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), the tour will open in Manchester at the Palace Theatre on 16 July 2024 and tour through to July 2025.

Meet the cast

Those on the cast include Neil Hurst (Edna Turnblad), Joanne Clifton (Velma Von Tussle) – with Gina Murray performing the role from 16 July – 7 September only, Michelle Ndegwa (Motormouth Maybelle), Soloman Davy (Link Larkin), Declan Egan (Corny Collins) Alexandra Emmerson-Kirby (Tracy Turnblad), Katlo (Little Inez), Reece Richards (Seaweed) and Allana Taylor (Amber Von Tussle).

Making up the ensemble are Ben Anderson, Grace Anyiam, Nina Bell, Joseph Bristow, Vanessa Dumatey, Rebecca French, Stuart Hickey, Jaiden Lodge, Olly Manley, Sasha Monique, Jacob Smith and Issy Wilman.

Hairspray tour cast

Brenda Edwards said: “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be invited by the producers to make my directorial debut on the show as a co-director with Paul Kerryson. Hairspray, and this production in particular, has been such a huge part of my life. The show’s story and themes are as relevant as ever and I cannot wait to hold the open auditions to discover a new cast and work together to present a vibrant new production of this timeless musical for everyone to enjoy.”

Hairspray tour dates, venues and tickets →

Hairspray is a musical based on the 1988 film of the same name which starred Divine and Ricki Lake by cult filmmaker John Waters. It has music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan.

Hairspray centres around heroine Tracy Turnblad, who has big hair, a big heart, and big dreams to dance her way onto national TV, and into the heart of teen idol Link Larkin. When Tracy becomes a local star, she is able to use her newfound fame to fight for liberation, tolerance, and interracial unity in Baltimore. But can she win equality – and Link’s heart – without denting her ’do?

Brenda Edwards and Paul Kerryson pose back to back in front of a white background
Hairspray Creatives Brenda Edwards and Paul Kerryson. Credit: Ellie Kurttz

Mark Shaiman (Composer/Co-Lyricist) said: “Brenda Edwards has been a part of the Hairspray family since she took on the role of ‘Motormouth’ Maybelle in 2015 and hearing that she is co-directing the latest tour is music to my ears. The strength and soul that Brenda brings to both her performances and her life have already made me a fan and I hope a friend for life, and I can’t wait to see how she brings her personal perspective to our show. Brava Brenda!”

Completing the creative team is set and costume design by Takis, lighting design by Philip Gladwell, sound design by Ben Harrison, musical supervision and arrangements by Ben Atkinson, musical direction by Richard Atkinson, projection design by George Reeve, casting by Grindrod Burton and resident direction by Juliet Gough. Hairspray is produced by Mark Goucher, Matthew Gale, and Laurence Myers.

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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