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Paul Merton and more join West End Hairspray cast

Discover more about the cast as the musical prepares to return to London.

As Hairspray prepares to return to London’s West End from 22 April 2021, the full cast has now been revealed.

Michael Ball will return to his legendary Olivier Award winning role of Edna Turnblad, with relative newcomer Lizzie Bea taking on the role of Tracy Turnblad.

They’ll be joined by comedian Paul Merton, who will make his West End musical debut in the show. Merton is best known as a long-standing panellist on the BBC’s Have I Got News For You, and appears on the Comedy Store stage in London most Sundays. Alongside a string of TV hosting duties and guest appearances, Merton is also currently gearing up for the release of his first Channel 4 series, Paul Merton The Series.

Ball won the coveted Olivier Award for his turn as Edna Turnblad when the musical last appeared on the West End stage, with stage credits including Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, and Chess. Ball has recently teamed up with fellow West End veteran Alfie Boe for a series of collaborative albums, releasing Back Together in 2019.

Lizzie Bea’s stage credits include the UK tour of Kinky Boots as well as performing stateside in the world premiere production of Becoming Nancy at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre.

Watch Michael Ball and Lizzie Bea chat about their role in Hairspray:


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Feature: Discover more about Hairspray’s return to London’s West End


Ball, Bea and Merton will be joined by acclaimed West End star Marisha Wallace, who will star as Motormouth. Marisha has appeared in Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre and in the original West End cast of Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre.

Known as Roxy Mithcell from the BBC’s long-running drama EastEnders, Rita Simons will take on the role of Velma Von Tussle. A subject of the documentary film Rita Simons: My Daughter, Deafness and Me for BBC 1 in 2012, Simons’s stage credits include the UK and Ireland tour of Legally Blonde, in which she played Paulette Bonafonte.

More recent credits include Lisa Prescott in The Krays: Dead Man Walking, the UK tour of The House In Cold Hill, and as Miss Hedge in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre.

Jonny Amies rounds off the lead cast, taking on the role of Link Larkin. Amies’ credits include Peter Noone in My Very Own British Invasion at the Paper Mill Playhouse, and in Netflix’s Sex Education.

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, Nicholas Collier, Joel Cooper, Luke George, Christopher Gopaul, Winny Herbert, Chris Howell, Lily Laight, Hannah Grace Lawson, Madeleine Lawton, Holly Liburd, Will Luckett, Mireia Mambo, Kody Mortimer, Robyn Rose, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Kibong Tanji, Amy West and Natalie Woods.

Hairspray, the tale of Tracy Turnblad’s big dreams and search for acceptance in 1962 Baltimore, celebrates three Tony Awards and four Olivier AWards, including Best New Musical at both.

Produced by Adam Spiegel Productions and Fiery Angel, Hairspray arrives at London’s Coliseum for 19 weeks only from 22 April 2021.

Tickets for Hairspray at London’s Coliseum are available from 10:00 on Monday 27 July 2020 through Ticketmaster.co.uk.

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