Entertainment Legend Hits West End

Staff Reporter (07 May, 2021)

Les Dennis joins the new production of Hairspray the Musical


Entertainment legend Les Dennis is to join the huge-hearted new production of Hairspray the Musical which is set to play a limited season at the magnificent London Coliseum.

As a comedian, impressionist, game show host, reality TV star, soap, screen, and stage actor, Les Dennis’ showbiz career has spanned 50 years. Now, he is to return to the West End in the multi-award-winning smash hit musical as Wilbur Turnblad having previously performed the role on tour. He stars alongside Michael Ball, who returns to his legendary, Olivier Award-winning role of Edna Turnblad.

Lizzie Bea will star in the iconic role of Tracy Turnblad. Acclaimed West End star Marisha Wallace will take the role of Motormouth. Rita Simons (Eastenders’ Roxy Mitchell) and Jonny Amies (Granchester on ITV) will also join the cast as Velma Von Tussle and Link Larkin respectively. 


Liverpool-born Les Dennis came to prominence as a comedian in the 1970s after honing his craft on the northern Working Men’s Club circuit and turning pro after a winning set on New Faces. He became a stalwart of Saturday Night TV in the 80s and 90s, starring in TV comedies including The Russ Abbot Show and The Les Dennis Laughter Show performing sketches and impressions, and most famously as the host of Family Fortunes between 1987 and 2002 on ITV.

In recent years Les has enjoyed a busy career as an actor, starring with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and in numerous hit plays and musicals in the West End and on tour, as well as playing a regular role for two years on Coronation Street. 

Despite the pandemic, Les has kept busy, filming a travel series for Channel 5, a guest lead in the Jimmy McGovern drama Moving On, and a starring role in the Christmas Special of Birds of a Feather. He is excited to be able to return to the stage in 2021. 

Baltimore, 1962. Tracy Turnblad is a big girl with big hair and big dreams. Can she make it on the local TV dance show, win the heart of teen heartthrob Link Larkin and bring everyone together – whatever their colour, size or hairdo? Well if you want a change, you’ve really got to shake things up!

With the original award-winning creative team of director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, and featuring the infectiously feel-good songs ‘Good Morning, Baltimore’, ‘Big, Blonde and Beautiful’ and ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’, this inspirational, fun-loving, and fabulously uplifting musical sensation is back and bigger than ever.

The original New York production of Hairspray won three Tony Awards, including Best New Musical, whilst the original West End production won four Olivier Awards, also including Best New Musical, as well giving Michael Ball one of his two Olivier Awards for Best Actor in a Musical.

London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4ES from 21st June – 29th September. Times: Tues – Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 3pm, Sun 4pm matinees. Admission: £17.50 – £125.

Box Office: 020 7845 9300 – www.hairspraythemusical.co.uk


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