Conley’s departure is down to his panto commitments, starring in Cinderella at the Cliffs Pavillion in Southend-on-Sea over the Christmas period. However, he may not be ready to hang up his high heels and wig just yet, and according to sources is hoping to step back into them again next year.
In a recent interview with Whatsonstage.com, the entertainer revealed he's been having "great fun" in the role, and that he's keen to stay on the musical theatre path he's been following since his Olivier Award-nominated turn in Jolson back in 1995.
Hairspray premiered in August 2002 on Broadway, going on to win eight 2003 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The UK production, which is also directed by Jack O'Brien and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, won the sweep of Best Musical prizes at the Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle, Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Awards, amongst other accolades.