Paul Merton and Michael Ball in Hairspray

Paul Merton to star alongside Michael Ball in Hairspray at the London Coliseum

Will Longman
Will Longman

Paul Merton is set to join Michael Ball in the upcoming West End revival of Hairspray at the London Coliseum, making his London musical debut.

Merton will play Wilbur Turnblad, a joke shop owner whose daughter is vying for fame by entering a TV talent competition, and is married to Edna Turnblad, Ball's character.

The musical opens on 23rd April, with casting also including Lizzie Bea and Marisha Wallace. Tickets are available now.

Hairspray West End cast

Paul Merton joins Michael Ball, who previously won an Olivier Award for playing Edna when the musical opened in London at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2007. Merton's role of Wilbur was played by Mel Smith in that production.

Rita Simons will play Velma Von Tussle in the upcoming revival, with Netflix's Sex Education star Jonny Amies as Link Larkin. 

Lizzie Bea will take on the lead role of Tracy, continuing the musical's tradition of putting new talent centre stage, mirroring what happens to the character of Tracy in the musical. She recently told that she'd never seen the musical on stage, but "can't wait for the responsibility" that comes with the role.  

They will be joined by Marisha Wallace, whose West End credits include Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre, and was recently part of the original London cast of Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre.

The cast is completed by 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.

Further Hairspray casting is set to be announced.

Olivier Award-winning production returns

The revival will reunite director Jack O'Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who spearheaded the 2007 production which won the Olivier for best new musical, and saw them both nominated for Oliviers for their respective craft.

The musical, which is based on the 1988 film by John Waters, has a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, and music by Shaiman.

Hairspray will run at the London Coliseum from 23rd April.

Hairspray tickets are available now.

Originally published on

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