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Hairspray embarks on UK tour in 2013 starring Mark Benton

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Hairspray will return to UK stages for a new tour in 2013, with Mark Benton in the starring role of Edna Turnblad.

The new production opens at Manchester's Lowry Theatre on 13 February 2013, and has dates booked for Liverpool, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Nottingham, Bristol, Leeds and Belfast.

On taking up the lead role, Benton said: "I can't wait to start Hairspray, it's going to be amazing fun and an interesting challenge for me as it's my first adventure into the world of musicals... that I get to go on that adventure playing a Baltimore housewife is an added bonus. As a musical I think it has everything, great songs, great script, really interesting story and lots and lots of laughs... I hope!"

Benton has clocked previous credits onstage at the National Theatre, the Old Vic, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Donmar Warehouse, the Royal Court and the RSC and has made TV appearances in Waterloo Road, Early Doors, Eureka Street, Catterick, Second Coming, and The Street.

Hairspray had its original West End run at the Shaftesbury Theatre in October 2007, and won a sweep of awards, including four Oliviers and a clutch of our own Whatsonstage.com Awards. Hairspray's last tour took place in 2010, playing to over 750,00 people.

The show is set in the 60s and sees big-haired Baltimore girls take the world by storm in a new dance sensation, while wrestling with larger-than-life problems of love and family.

Hairspray's book is by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, with music by Marc Shaiman, who wrote the show’s lyrics with Scott Wittman. Further casting is yet to be announced.


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