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Hairspray 2015

All photos by Redlock Photography

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Show Facts

Performed by Trinity Players at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall on 12th - 16th May 2015

Ben Field
Musical Director
Tim Harding
Choreographer and Youth Director
Leigh-Ann James
Assistant Director
Rachel Williams
Stage Manager
Katy Crudgington

The Cast

Tracy Turnblad
Frances Corbett
Link Larkin
Ed Mears 
Corny Collins
Steven Blower
Velma Von Tussle
Jennifer Mears
Amber Von Tussle
Kayleigh Murray
Edna Turnblad
Michael Grant
Seaweed Stubbs
Dane Fox
Wilbur Turnblad
Bob Atkins
Little Inez and Dynamite #1
Aoife Kenny
Motormouth Maybelle
Leigh-Ann James
Penny Pingleton
Rebecca Perry
Prudy Pingleton
Shirley Gladwin
Chloe Rawson
Charlotte Calcutt
Cindy and Dynamite #2
Danielle Huntley
Dynamite #3
Eloise Simpson
Kieran Corrigan
Fiona Dunn
Scott Jennings
Matthew Cotter
Lou Ann
Olivia Reeves
Ross Gilby
Wayne Cooper
Robyn Klein Christoffels
Matron and Chorus
Ann Dempsey
Velma's Assistant and Chorus
Jo McCloy
Prison Warder and Chorus
Rick Jones
School Principal and Chorus
Di Mannion
Mr Pinky and Chorus
Jon Hall
Gym Teacher and Chorus
Linsey Osbas
Dance Captain
Celine Kirton
Beth Rawson
Molley Hobbs
Sadie Horton
Helen England
Esther Lisk-Carew
Gemma Parton
Katherine Hollis
Becky Corrigan
Hannah Price
Steph Smith
Hannah Melia
Ray Smith


Love Midlands Theatre Review of Hairspray - 14th May 2015.

You Can't Stop The Beat With Trinity Players

Well, well, well. What can we say? Trinity Players were outstanding tonight. From start to finish their energy levels were well and truly through the roof and they captured the audience as soon as the music started.

The host of recognisable characters were brought beautifully to life, each actor and actress placing their own stamp on the part. We could sit here all night listing off every single cast and creative member, because it was clear to see that everyone's heart and soul was in this production.

The ensemble was one of the strongest we have seen on the amateur circuit, with dazzling harmonies and excellent precision; from dancing through to characterisation. It was clear that they had been supported expertly under the musical direction of Tim Harding and the stellar band.

Frances Corbett shone as the bubbly Tracey Turnblad, injecting oodles of passion into the part and thoroughly excelled playing the larger-than-life character. The Turnblad family was completed by Bob Atkins as Wilbur and Michael Grant as Edna. Grant was excellent, he captured the character of Edna perfectly and Atkins made an adorable Wilbur, with a particular highlight being You're Timeless To Me, joyously performed by the both of them.

Tracey's best friend Penny Pingleton, was played hilariously by Rebecca Perry with her deeply religious Mother, Prudy Pingleton, played fantastically by Shirley Gladwin. Ed Mears oozed charisma as Tracey's love interest Link Larkin, and Dane Fox's supple vocals as Seaweed were glorious.

The selfish Amber Von Tussle was played brilliantly by Kayleigh Murray and Jennifer Mears took the role of her mother, delivering an exceptional performance of Miss Baltimore Crabs. Steven Blower added to the fantastic vocal talent on display in his role as Corny Collins.

Now, we've seen a few show-stopping performances in our lives, but wow, I Know Where I've Been thoroughly blew us away tonight. Leigh-Ann James took on the feisty role of Motormouth Maybelle bringing soul, sass and swagger. Not only was it an absolute pleasure to watch, her vocals were spine-tingling.

Special mentions must also go to Aoife Kenny for her angelic vocals in the role of Little Inez and Ann Dempsey for her amusing portrayal as the Matron.

With extensive choreographed routines created by Leigh-Ann James, the show was brought together under the stellar direction from Ben Field.

Trinity Players have excelled with this performance and it was delightful to see such an abundance of talent up on the stage. A huge congratulations to all involved.

Downstage Centre Review of Hairspray - 15th May 2015

If you believe in something strongly enough, then it's worth fighting for. If you genuinely care about something, then maybe it's worth singing and dancing your heart out for it too. At Sutton Coldfield's Town Hall this week, the Trinity Players have done exactly that by bringing the 2002 Broadway musical smash Hairspray to the stage and getting everyone (and I mean everyone) up on their feet and dancing!

Hairspray is based on the 1988 film of the same name (which was then re-made in 2007) and is in itself based on real-life events that took place in Baltimore, Maryland during the early 1960s. Before the curtain was even up we were introduced to power-hungry TV producer Velma Von Tussle (Jennifer Mears), chasing musical director Tim Harding into the pit and urging him to get started. Pacy numbers and more reflective pieces alike were all equally delivered bang on the money. It was a nice touch that immediately grabbed everyone's attention, and one of a number of occasions in which the splendid surroundings of the venue were fully utilised and put to good use.

The orchestra themselves were terrific, excellently marshalled by Harding and making the most of the catchy and energetic soundtrack without drowning out any of the singing or dialogue on stage. Pacy numbers and more reflective pieces alike were all equally delivered bang on the money and toes were tapping left, right and centre among the sell-out crowd.

The show's heroine, Tracy Turnblad (a truly endearing performance by Frances Corbett) kicked things off with 'Good Morning Baltimore' and the show was away. The pace rarely dropped and there were no uncomfortable pauses during scene-changes, a real credit to stage manager Katy Crudgington and her team as pace is one of the key factors of what drives this show.

Back to Tracy though. Corbett's convincing performance was every inch that of the young teenager full of hopes and dreams - and she had you from the moment she began to sing. 'Good Morning Baltimore' was enjoyably delivered and as the town came to life around her, so the audience was drawn into her world. Tracy dreams of fame on her local TV dance show, the Corny Collins Show (based on the real-life Buddy Deane Show) and as she watches it on TV in her living room, we're instantly transported to the TV studio in which Velma Von Tussle wields her power. It's 1962 and we're witnessing the build-up to the televised Miss Hairspray contest, hosted by Corny himself. Corny was one of a number of excellent principal performances delivered from underneath one of a number of wonderfully authentic and amusing wigs - in this instance by Steven Blower.

Eventually Tracy makes it onto the show but faces stiff competition from Kayleigh Murray's deliciously catty Amber Von Tussle, daughter of - you guessed it - Velma the producer. But there's more to this story than simply dreams of fame. The joy and upbeat mood of the songs are overshadowed by the issue of racial segregation and Tracy finds herself unwittingly caught up in the middle of it all simply by having black friends - and seeing, rather radically (for that time and place at least) no problem with that whatsoever. By meeting those in Tracy's friendship group we get to explore the huge depth of young talent among the ranks at the Trinity Players, including Rebecca Perry as the convincingly cute best-friend Penny Pingleton, and Aoife Kenny as Little Inez. Dane Fox was incredibly eye-catching as Seaweed Stubbs - a performer possessed of slick and natural movement and a strong vocal capability, who was clearly at home on the big stage.

The segregation issue was well dealt with and at no point did the audience feel they were being preached to - credit due in part here to director Ben Field in his directorial debut. The cast were all clearly well-drilled throughout and there were some strong set-pieces in the show - a confident first outing for him in this role and surely the first of more to come.

The lively numbers kept coming and there were some great performances along the way, most notably Michael Grant who managed to be both hilarious and endearing as Tracy's mum Edna Turnblad (and provided great company for Bob Atkins' very warm and genuine portrayal of dad Wilbur), Ed Mears convinced as teen heartthrob Link Larkin and Shirley Gladwin revelled in the role of religious fanatic Prudy Pingleton.

Vocal performance of the night though came from the supremely soulful Leigh-Ann James (who was also responsible for the enjoyable choreography) as local R&B record shop owner Motormouth Maybelle. Her performance of 'Big, Blonde and Beautiful' was one of many show highlights and she was exactly that. Superb.

All in all Trinity put out a performance to be proud of - a show which had every member of the audience up and dancing at the end, regardless of age, race, size or shape! It's great to see more modern musicals (bearing in mind that Hairspray made its West End debut in 2008 - only 7 years ago) available to amateur companies and being attacked with real vigour and panache while successfully drawing the audiences in their droves.

The people of Sutton Coldfield lapped it up and they are extremely lucky to have the impressive Trinity Players on their doorstep putting out a musical, a play and a choral show every year. For them, the beat never stops and local theatre is all the better for it.

NODA Review of Hairspray - 16th May 2015

I really don’t know where to start reviewing this production. It was spectacular and energetic from start to its five minute standing ovation at the end. Ben Field’s production was so spot on, nothing was left to chance. The characters were really brought to life and it was clear by the performances that all of the company had put every bit of energy they had into their roles. The songs were excellent thanks to Musical Director Tim Harding and the band. Leigh-Ann James’s choreography was superb and a joy to watch.

Frances Corbett as Tracy Turnblad led the company from the front playing this great character. Her family was completed by Bob Atkins as Wilbur and the excellent Michael Grant as Edna. These two characters gave us a great duet with ‘Your Timeless to me’.

Penny Pingleton was played well by Rebecca Perry and her religious Mother was played by Shirley Gladwin, a great part to play. Dane Fox shone as Seaweed as did Steven Blower as Corny Collins. Tracy’s love interest Link Larkin (Ed Mears) Supported well. Jennifer Mears and Kayleigh Murray as Mother and daughter Velma and Amber Von Tussle were a joy.

One person who just blew me away was Leigh-Ann James as Motormouth Maybelle. Not only taking on this role but she was also choreographer. Her performance was outstanding and that voice!

I also must mention Ann Dempsey who played the Matron. Comic genius.

Costumes were good and stood out and the set was well used. All credit to Katy Crudgington and all the stage crew. So slick.

All I can finish with is if you missed this production you missed a real treat.

If you like what you see and are interested in learning more about what we do, or are thinking of joining us then please email us at info@trinityplayers.com or visit us on Facebook.

The Show


Hairspray is a musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray. The songs include 1960s-style dance music and "downtown" rhythm and blues. In 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, plump teenager Tracy Turnblad's dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance program based on the real-life Buddy Deane Show. When Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight, and meets a colourful array of characters. She then launches a campaign to integrate the show. Hairspray is a social commentary on the injustices of parts of American society in the 1960s. The musical's original Broadway production opened on August 15, 2002. In 2003 it won eight Tony Awards out of thirteen nominations. It ran for over 2,500 performances and closed on January 4, 2009. Hairspray has also had national tours, a London West End production, and numerous foreign productions and was adapted as a 2007 musical film. The London production was nominated for a record-setting eleven Laurence Olivier Awards, winning for Best New Musical and in three other categories.

Synopsis courtesy of Wikipedia

The Trinity Players Production

Hairspray was a monumental undertaking that brought together a cast of 43 to learn 22 songs, choreographed dance routines and four-part harmony vocal arrangements. Under the guidance of the excellent production team lead by Ben Field the show was a storming success that received standing ovations every night and literally had audiences out of their seats dancing.

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