HAIRSPRAY - The Company
Robyn Marsh - Tracy Turnblad
This is Robyn's first production with MCP, though she has belonged to many amateur theatre companies and choirs in and around Shrewsbury. Robyn says she couldn't pinpoint a specific time in which she 'caught the bug' for performance as she has been hooked since her days as Mary in the school Nativity, throwing herself head-first into as many plays and musicals as she could. Having recently performed in more 'classical' roles, such as Fantine in “Les Misérables”, Robyn is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to play such a modern-minded character as Tracy, and has relished the heavy emphasis on dancing that this role has called for. She first encountered MCP when working as a stage hand behind the scenes on their most recent play Noises Off, where she worried not about learning lines, but learning how to construct convincing-looking jelly sardines! She is currently a full-time student at Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology, studying Performing Arts and Musical Theatre. However she intends to audition for alternative universities in and around London to further her performance education next year.
James Ashfield - Edna Turnblad
James recently moved back to Shrewsbury after 12 years and needed to fill the theatre gap in his life as quickly as possible. After laughing his way through their sell-out production of Noises Off, he decided MCP was for him. Edna is not a part he would ever have seen himself playing but he is SO grateful he got the opportunity. James now has a slightly concerning addiction to ladies shoes and has even learned how to iron clothes. He trained at the (now Royal) Welsh College of Music and Drama, but for the last 15 years has been performing in amateur theatre Up North. Some of his favourite roles have been the Devil in 'Witches of Eastwick', Higgins in 'My Fair Lady' and Fagin in 'Oliver'. During the day he is an artist painting portraits, animals and people without clothes. That’s the sitters, not him!
Yvonne Morris - Motormouth Maybell
This is Yvonne’s first production with MCP. She was discovered under a hair dryer in local hairdresser Weavealicous in Frankwell, by Alex. Having auditioned for the part of Motormouth she is enjoying the experience of being involved with Hairspray. Everyone has been very friendly and Yvonne says she has “been made to feel at ease with them all”. Her biggest challenge has been learning new dance steps, but she has thrown herself into the challenge and developed a new skill.Yvonne has always wanted to do some singing, but agrees she has achieved everything, singing, dancing and acting in one hit!Yvonne has been singing on and off for many years. Acting is something she has always wanted to do but never had the chance. She is not a trained singer, but has a passion and love to do the best job ever. When she was younger Yvonne always wanted to go to drama college and study comedy, but this was not to be. Hopefully her devotion to this project (which has included travelling from mid-Wales for each rehearsal!) will see her go from strength to strength and achieve valuable experience to carry her forward and "do the best job ever!"
Ryan Brown - Corny Collins
Ryan has found Corny Collins to be his most challenging role yet for MCP. "Corny is completely the opposite of my personality and, whilst it is quite freeing to play someone so extrovert, it's hard to know how far to go." That said, Ryan is hoping to take a little of Corny back to work with him to help when schmoozing the clients - "but maybe not the wig!"
Ryan says "Hairspray has proved to be a different beast to Kiss Me Kate and Crazy For You, having such a majority of young people in the cast, but I have loved the challenge and learnt a thing or two from the Nicest Kids along the way".
Natalie Wyatt - Velma Von Tussle
Natalie is a mum to three gorgeous children - Daisy, Charlie and Alfie and works as a school photographer. She has always had an avid interest in musical theatre and after training with Shirlee Gaston and Heather Game; she left to train professionally at Guildford School of Acting. After graduating Natalie performed in professional pantomimes alongside panto favourites Christopher Biggins and Bonnie Langford and also toured with The Masters Voice. This is her first time back on stage in eighteen years and she is loving the chance to use her professional training to play such a meaty role as Velma. It's also the first time that she has had the opportunity to perform in a musical alongside her daughter Daisy. Natalie would like to thank her mum and dad for their constant support and babysitting!
Joe Phillips - Link Larkin
Hairspray is Joe’s first show with MCP and he is absolutely thrilled to have landed such a great principal role! A student at Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology, Joe says he has learned so much whilst rehearsing with what he describes as “this amazingly talented group, the experience and professional attitude everyone brings is such a joy to be a part of”. On top of this Joe is also teaching at Stage 2, performing with YPTG and working in Libertines Cocktail Bar. It just shows how much you can cram into your life! Joe hopes you enjoy the show as much as he has loved rehearsing for it!
Melissa Wellington - Amber Von Tussel
Melissa loves being a Mad Cow! She works as a Tele-marketing Executive for DB Roberts Estate Agents and is a self-employed Make-up Artist in her spare time. Having taken on the role of Makeup Designer for MCP just over a year ago she is thrilled to be given the opportunity to create a wide variety of theatrical looks. She is also currently studying for a NVQ in Beauty & Makeup Artist Level 3.
Although she enjoys these jobs it is undoubtedly the stage that is her best place to shine. The delightful Amber is Melissa's sixth role with MCP, although she notes she is getting a lot of the "Blonde" roles, it is her favourite character so far and is loving showcasing her dancing and drama skills and bopping into the 60's with this fabulous show
Ahmed Hamed - Seaweed
Ahmed is a student at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College studying A Level Maths, Biology and Chemistry and previously Music. These may seem like opposite ends of the academic spectrum but he has always been enthusiastic about performance and specifically singing. Ahmed found MCP through his friend Georgie Wright and, having watched and helped with a couple of their shows, he was keen to join. Hairspray has been a favourite musical since he first saw the film so he is thrilled to experience the reality. The sharp and smooth character that is Seaweed has been quite a demanding role for Ahmed to nail, vocally and choreographically. But he's getting to grips with using his hips!
Georgie Wright - Penny Pingleton
Georgie is seventeen (A previous One to Watch member!) and studying for her A-Levels at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College. A veteran of five MCP shows she thinks that this has been “one of the most fun yet!” Playing Penny has been such a new experience for Georgie and has come with its fair share of hurdles to overcome, as capturing Penny’s unique ‘awkwardness’ surprisingly didn’t come easily! Georgie’s found it so fulfilling to feel her character develop throughout the rehearsal period and has loved seeing new and old friends grow around her. The making of this show really has been such a fun journey and she hopes you enjoy being taken along on the ride of emotions that only Hairspray has to offer!
Robert Hinton - Wilbur Turnblad
Robert feels very lucky to live in the UK in 2015. It’s certainly not perfect, but there’s more freedom and equality of rights than in most times and places through history. Robert also feels very lucky to be making theatre with such a great bunch of people, on stage and leading behind the scenes, in a show that is so much fun but with such an important theme. Half a century on from 1962, when Hairspray is set, there are still plenty of people, from fanatics to groomers to playground bullies, who want to impose their will on others. So while we relish our freedoms, let’s celebrate diversity and let’s love, listen to and look out for our fellow human beings.
Marlyn Mabokella - Little Inez
Marlyn is currently studying performing arts at Shrewsbury College of Art and Technology and has been dreaming about being a performer since her childhood in South Africa. Now it is a reality and she is very excited about her first ever big show. Marlyn was keen to join MCP as soon as she found out about it through her college. She has thoroughly enjoyed rehearsing for Hairspray and has learnt a huge amount, in particular professionalism within the rehearsal room. Although Marlyn finds it challenging trying to nail the vocals whilst dancing at the same time she loves every aspect of her character Lil’ Inez.
Annette Edge - Prudy Pingleton
This is Annette's second production with MCP having performed in the Ensemble in Crazy For You last year. Stepping up into a principal role Annette is loving every minute of being on stage again and making use of her Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts training; many years ago! She is thrilled to be playing the part of Prudy and portraying a character that is thankfully nothing like her in real life - hopefully her husband and three sons agree!
Andrew Murray - Spritzer, Principal, Mr Pinky & the Newscaster
No stranger to MCP, Andrew returns as not one but four characters - see if you can spot him! For the last Mad Cow play he was Front of House Manager and helped with the set get-in and -out. He watched enviously as his Mad Cow friends re-created Noises Off, a play he was part of in 2008. This is his first appearance on stage for MCP since In the Club, where he played a totally outrageous person! In between he Stage Managed for Kiss Me Kate; when unable to take part, he generally makes a nuisance of himself somewhere in the theatre. No change there, then!
Charlotte Limighan - Dynamite
This is Charlotte's first production with MCP and she loves every minute of it! It's the largest scale production she's ever been a part of and one of the most well-known musicals she's ever performed, so the pressure is on. Charlotte is studying Musical Theatre at the Birmingham Ormiston Academy and, to ensure that she is fully fulfilling her passion for the arts, is a member of a few other amateur dramatic groups as well!
Poppy Dhansinghani - Dynamite
This is Poppy's first show with MCP. She has enjoyed performing for as long as she can remember and would like to teach you how to correctly pronounce her surname it is “Dancing-Arni”. She has enjoyed her experience playing a sassy Dynamite and is relishing the dance opportunities within the show. She is looking forward thoroughly to the experience and then when the curtain drops for the final time as a Dynamite...it’s time for her to swap the glitz, glamour and eye shadow for a pen, paper and post it notes because it's A Level exam time!
Natasha Burnell - Dynamite
Natasha is 20 years old from Bridgnorth. Coming from a Fine Art and Musical background Natasha developed a keen love for theatre. However due to academic studies she put her interests aside, concentrating on her A-Levels, before pursuing private lessons in acting/singing with Peter Bailey who introduced her to MCP. Natasha feels that MCP has encouraged her as a performer, taken her out of her comfort zone and helped her discover the confidence she needs to thrive and develop within a performing environment. In the near future Natasha aspires to pursue a career in Performing Arts, with hopes of being on stage professionally.