Tv and stage star Les Dennis will replace Paul Merton in the West End revival of Hairspray The Musical, it has been announced.
Dennis, whose 50 year showbiz career spans comedy, game show host, reality TV star, soap, screen and stage actor, will play Wilbur Turnblad. Dennis’ West End stage roles include Amos Hart in Chicago and Bill Snibson in Me and My Girl. Whilst often remembered for hosting Family Fortunes and appearing on Coronation Street, the veteran stage actor has appeared in touring productions of High School Musical 2, Legally Blonde The Musical, The Addams Family and Hairspray.
Lead casting for the West End revival includes Michael Ball (Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, The Woman in White) reprising his Olivier Award winning role as Edna Turnblad, EastEnders Roxy Mitchell Rita Simons playing Velma Von Tussle, West End favourite Marisha Wallace (Waitress, Dreamgirls) as Motormouth, newcomer Lizzie Bea as Tracy Turnblad and Jonny Amies (Sex Education) playing Link Larkin.
The full company includes Georgia Anderson, Kimani Arthur, Dermot Canavan, Lori Haley Fox, Mari McGinlay, Ashley Samuels, Michael Vinsen and Imogen Bailey, Pearce Barron, Jordan Benjamin, Joel Cooper, Luke George, Christopher Gopaul, Bradley Judge, Winny Herbert, Lily Laight, Madeleine Lawton, Holly Liburd, Will Luckett, Mireia Mambo, Kody Mortimer, Robyn Rose, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Amy West and Natalie Woods.
Based on John Waters 1988 film, the show has music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan. This revival is directed by the original Broadway director Jack O’Brien and has choreography by Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde).
Set in 1960’s segregated Baltimore, Hairspray follows Tracy Turnblad, an over-weight girl with big hair, as she attempts to make it on a local TV dance show and win the heart of teen heartthrob Link Larkin.
An inspirational, fun-loving and fabulously uplifting musical, the score features much loved songs “Good Morning, Baltimore”, “Big, Blonde and Beautiful” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat”.