A little blast of Hairspray will have you smiling all day

If you’ve been to see a musical on stage, and you’re still singing its final number most than 12 hours later, the chances are, you’ve had a damned good night out.

So, the tune in my head? It’s You Can’t Stop The Beat, the closing number from the entirely fabulous Hairspray – The Musical.

Based on the cult John Waters film from 1988, we head back to the early 1960s where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair a big heart, and is on a mission to follow her even bigger dream. She’s desperate to appear on TV and dance on the Corny Collins show and dance with The Nicest Kids In Town (one of whom has to disappear from the next nine months).

The musical was adapted for stage from the original film and it, in turn, was made into another film, this time as a full musical, in 2007.

Katie Brace brings an effortless charm to Tracy Turnblad

We open with Good Morning Baltimore as we are introduced to Tracy and her dreams, in a joyous number brought to life by Katie Brace, who makes an instantly positive impression, and you take an automatic shine to her as she and her best friend Penny Pingleton (Rebecca Jayne-Davies) watch their favourite show.

Tracy is able to dance her way onto national TV, despite a frosty reception from TV producer Velma Von Tussle (the superbly icy Rebecca Thornhill) and her fame-hungry dancer daughter Amber (Jessice Croll), where she meets teen idol Link Larkin and the pair fall in love as Tracy becomes a local star.

We meet Motormouth Maybelle, who was due to be played by Brenda Edwards but due to recent tragic circumstances was unable to appear, but Bernadette Bangura was a more than capable understudy, letting rip with an incredible vocal range.

The show is packed full of humour – the outrageous nature of the original movie, which saw drag star Devine play Tracy’s mother Edna, and then John Travolta in the musical remake, features Alex Bourne as Edna.

Alex Bourne as Edna and Norman Pace as Wilbur Turnblad

Playing downtrodden father Wilbur Turnblad is Norman Pace, one half of the late 80s/early 90s outrageous comedy double-act Hale and Pace, who turns in a stonkingly good performance. It’s a very subtle turn, and when the pair have their duet, You’re Timeless To Me, it was hard to tell if the pair were improvising as they got the giggles, or if it was part of the act. A real show highlight.

But there is, however, a serious side to the the film, as, at school, there’s evident segregation between races, but Tracy and Penny break down the barriers as they embrace their new friends, as Penny finds a new love interest, Seaweed (Reece Richards).

Our heroes fight against the system, and introduce some racial harmony on the local TV screens, with black and white dancers dancing together for the first time, rather than separately.

There’s such a joyous energy about the whole show, with its vivid hues, which give it that early 1960s authenticity that you see on American TV programmes from the time, where shows weren’t just made in colour, they were made IN COLOUR (or COLOR, if you prefer).

It’s no surprise that Hairspray has broken box office records and delighted audiences in the West End and on Broadway. This is a first class production, with a top notch cast, and is guaranteed to be the most joyous and uplifting musical you’ll see this year – and that’s something we all need right now.

Hairspray The Musical is at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, until Saturday, 2 April. Tickets are available from £21.00, subject to a transaction fee of £2.85, from HERE.