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Hair today – a star tomorrow:

A Shrewsbury  theatre group looking to cast one of the stars for their next production of the cult classic Hairspray discovered just who they were looking for – under a hair dryer in a salon.


Pictured at Weavealicious in Frankwell are Yvonne Morris, seated, with Sylvie Veglio. Mad Cow Theatre Productions were struggling to find an actress to portray the role of Motormouth Maybelle in their upcoming show at the Theatre Severn in April.

And they had left no stone unturned in their search – only to find the answer in a hairdresser’s in Shrewsbury town centre.

Unsuspecting Yvonne Morris was having her hair done at Weavealicious in Frankwell when she was approached by Alex Hinton, Mad Cow director, who asked her if she would like to audition for a role in their musical production of Hairspray.

Alex said: “Casting the show in Shropshire has had its problems. We’ve Facebooked and Tweeted in our search for actors/singers/dancers to play the African American roles – and we have even gone out searching ourselves.

“Trying to think outside the box, the one place we visited was Weavealicous, a hair salon in Frankwell that specialises in European and Afro Caribbean hair, where the owner, the lovely Sylvie Veglio, allowed us to approach her clients – even if they were under the drier.

“It was here that we found Yvonne, who though she had sung in the past, had never done musical theatre” said Alex.

Yvonne, of Llanidloes, Mid Wales, added: “The irony wasn’t lost on me being plucked from a chair in a hairdresser’s salon for an audition for the role of Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray.

“I’ve always wanted to have a go at acting, singing and dancing and now I have it all  – in one big hit.

“I love every moment of the challenge that it is offering me. I have sung before, but the dance routines are a bit daunting, but I am sure I will get there. The last time I did any sort of dance was at school.

“My role of Motormouth is inspiring; she motivates those around her and is a true ‘force of nature’ who in the end will get her own way.”

Mad Cow Productions – winners of a Shrewsbury Mayoral Award for their outstanding contribution to the community – have recently completed a sell out run of the hilarious Michael Frayne farce – Noises Off!

And they were thrilled when they learned they had been successful in securing the rights to perform the classic Hairspray – the story of Tracy Turnblad, the girl with the big hair and an even bigger heart – who dreams of appearing on her favourite TV show, originally a 1988 film starring Divine and Ricki Lake, and directed by John Waters.

The musical, based on the film, hit Broadway in 2002 and won eight out of thirteen Tony Award nominations. It ran for over 2,500 performances on Broadway and closed on January 4, 2009.

Hairspray has also had national tours, a London West End production, and numerous foreign productions and was adapted as a 2007 musical film.

The London production was nominated for a record-setting eleven Laurence Olivier Awards, winning for Best New Musical and in three other categories. A new professional UK tour is coming later in 2015.

Alex said: “Mad Cow specialises in comedy. We love to make folk smile, laugh and guffaw. We’re always on the lookout for the next big thing.

“It isn’t very often that a new show becomes available for amateur performance; it is even rarer for a show with such a critical pedigree to do so.

“So when Josef Weinberger announced they had secured the adult amateur rights we applied immediately – and were delighted to hear we were successful.”

Alex added: “It is an irresistible feel-good show that is bright and bubbly with number after number guaranteed to get the feet tapping. We think our audiences will love it.”

Hairspray will open at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn on April 30 and run until May 2. Tickets are available from the box office on (01743) 281281.


Posted By Jon Simcock on Mar 5, 2015

Read the full article via shrewsburytoday.co.uk at: http://www.shrewsburytoday.co.uk/hair-today-star-tomorrow-shrewsbury-theatre-group-finds-new-star-town-salon/