Photo Flash: Belinda Carlisle And Phill Jupitus Are West End 'HAIRSPRAY Bound!
The producers of "HAIRSPRAY" have announced that Phill Jupitus, Belinda Carlisle and Sharon D Clarke have all signed to join the cast of the hit musical, currently running at London's Shaftesbury Theatre. The new cast open on Monday 26 October, with Sunday performances beginning on Sunday 8 November.
Phill stars as larger than life heroine Edna Turnblad, who must help her big-haired, big-hearted daughter Tracy fulfil her destiny....if she can just leave the family apartment. Belinda plays Velma Von Tussle, glamorous white supremacist and controller of the local TV station, who is out to thwart Tracy's plans, and Sharon is Motormouth Mabel, celebrity DJ and owner of Baltimore's biggest set of lungs!
Phill Jupitus is a comedian, broadcaster, writer and actor who has appeared on British television & radio and the stage for over 20 years. His career began at record label Go Discs where he was press officer for The Housemartins and directed videos for Billy Bragg and Kirsty McColl. He also worked as a performance poet and compered for acts like Madness, The Who and Paul Weller before becoming a regular fixture on the UK comedy circuit. He has appeared on many television and radio panel shows including "QI" and "News Quiz", as well as being a regular team captain on the hit BBC 2 show "Never Mind The Buzzcocks", and has toured extensively with his one man shows. As a DJ, Phil played the first ever record on BBC 6Music as host of the "Breakfast Show", which he presented for five years. He is also a columnist (and sometime cartoonist) for The Times's football supplement The Game and regularly records very successful football and music podcasts.
Belinda Carlisle is a Grammy Award nominated singer and actress. As lead singer of the groundbreaking band The GoGo's she was part of the first ever girl group who wrote and played their own music to top the Billboard Charts in the US. Following extensive touring with The GoGo's, her solo career was hugely successful with global hits including Circle In The Sand, Leave A Light On For Me, I Get Weak, We Want The Same Thing, Live Your Life Be Free and the international number one Heaven Is A Place On Earth. Screen credits include the movie "Swing Shift" and appearances on "Dancing With The Stars" (ABC) and "Hell's Kitchen" (ITV1). Based in France, Belinda still performs around the world.
Olivier Award nominee Sharon D Clarke is a prolific West End, television and radio star and recording artist. Her stage credits include "Chicago", "We Will Rock You", "The Lion King", "Rent" and "Guys & Dolls" as well as many productions at the Hackney Empire. Other principals Chloe Hart (Tracy Turnblad), Verity Rushworth (Penny) Liam Tamne (Link Larkin), Adrian Hansel (Seaweed) and Raquel Jones (Little Inez) all remain with the show and are joined by new cast members Tony Timberlake (Wilbur Turnblad), Nicola Brazil (Amber Von Tussle) and Gavin Alex (Corny Collins).
The smash-hit award-winning musical "HAIRSPRAY" at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London recouped its entire £3.5 million capitalisation in a record-breaking 29 weeks. The show opened on 30 October 2007 to universal critical acclaim and smash hit business. 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. The show has also won 'Best Musical' at the Evening Standard Awards, the Whatsonstage.com awards, the Critics Circle Awards and the Variety Club Showbiz Awards.
The musical continues to break all box office records at the theatre and is now booking until April 2010. "HAIRSPRAY" is produced in the West End by Stage Entertainment with Margo Lion, The Baruch/Viertel/Routh/Frankel Group and New Line Cinema in association with others from the Broadway producing team.
"HAIRSPRAY" opened at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York in August 2002 to rave reviews and public acclaim. "HAIRSPRAY" subsequently swept the board at the 2003 Tony Awards, winning 8 including 'Best Musical', the Drama Desk Awards, winning 10 including 'Best Musical', and the Outer Critics Circle Awards, winning 5 including 'Best Broadway Musical'. "HAIRSPRAY" also won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for 'Best Musical' and the Drama League Award for 'Outstanding Musical Production'. The show has also played two hugely successful US tours as well as seasons in Toronto and Las Vegas, and further afield in South Africa, Brazil and Scandinavia.
"HAIRSPRAY" has a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. The musical is based on the New Line Cinema film, written and directed by John Waters. The musical is directed by Jack O'Brien and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. The scenic design is by David Rockwell, the costumes byWilliam Ivey Long, the lighting by Kenneth Posner and the sound by Steve C. Kennedy. With orchestrations by Harold Wheeler and arrangements by Marc Shaiman, the musical direction is by Lon Hoyt. The West End production of "HAIRSPRAY" is staged by the entire original Broadway creative team.
The performance schedule for HAIRSPRAY also changes this Autumn. Beginning on Sunday 8 November the show will run Tuesday - Saturday at 7.30pm, with matinees on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3.00pm. Tickets, priced from £22.50 - £62.50, are available from the Shaftesbury Theatre Box Office on 0207 379 5399 or by visiting www.hairspraythemusical.com.
Photos by Hugo Glendinning
Belinda Carlisle is Velma Von Tussle
Phill Jupitus is Edna Turnblad