From 2 Feb Nigel Planer & Verity Rushworth will join the cast of Hairspray

From 2 Feb Nigel Planer & Verity Rushworth will join the cast of Hairspray

Nigel Planer (as Wilbur Turnblad) & Verity Rushworth (as Penny Pingleton) are to join the cast of Hairspray from 2 Feb 2009.

Michael Ball (Edna Turnblad), Leanne Jones (Tracy Turnblad) and Ben James-Ellis (Link Larkin) have all extended their contracts to remain with the show and will now perform until Saturday 25 July 2009.

Nigel Planer is one of the UK’s most prolific comedy actors with credits including ‘The Comic Strip Presents…’, ‘The Young Ones’, ‘Shine On Harvey Moon’, ‘Blackadder’ and ‘Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic’. His numerous West End credits include "Chicago", "We Will Rock You" and "Wicked".

Verity Rushworth joined the cast of TV's ‘Emmerdale’ in the role of Donna Windsor-Dingle at the age of 12. She leaves the programme onscreen at the end of January 2009. She also appeared in the 2007 season of ITV’s ‘Soapstar Superstar’.

Adam Spiegel, from UK producers Stage Entertainment, said: “Hairspray goes from strength to strength and I am so pleased to welcome Nigel and Verity to the family. With these two supremely talented actors joining our cast, added to the news that Michael, Leanne and Ben are all staying with the show, we hope that the Shaftesbury Theatre will remain the place to be for West End audiences throughout 2009.”

Hairspray opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre to terrific notices from the popular press on 30 Oct 2007, following previews from 11 Oct: THE INDEPENDENT says, "Was the show worth it? Yes, yes and again yes." THE GUARDIAN says, "Where the show really scores is in its ability to integrate serious issues into a lightweight plot." THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "You will laugh, you will scream, you might even shed a sentimental tear or two. " THE TIMES says, "Delightful."

At the 2008 Olivier Awards, “HAIRSPRAY” won ‘Best Musical’, as well as ‘Best Actor in a Musical’ for Michael Ball, and ‘Best Actress in a Musical’ for Leanne Jones.

Hairspray has book by Mark O’Donnell & Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman, and is based upon the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters.

It is directed by Jack O’Brien, choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, and produced in the West End by Stage Entertainment / SEL & GFO New Line Cinema / In Association With Live Nation

Baltimore's Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion -- to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance programme, 'The Corny Collins Show' and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the program's reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show?

Hairspray is currently taking bookings to 24 Oct 2009.

Originally published on

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