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'Pleasantly plump' actress sought for starring role

A North East theatre society are seeing a very special actress for their next major production

The Tyne Theatre in Newcastle
The Tyne Theatre in Newcastle

One of the region’s longest established musical theatre groups has a peach of a role for a lady who’s “pleasantly plump”.

Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray is the attraction for the right recruit to West End Operatic Society’s next cast.

“We’re looking for someone with an amazing voice,” said society chairman and musical director Liam Gilbert.

“Ideally, she’ll be somebody a little plump but also capable of a pirouette or two. Tracy really has to be able to move.”

Musicals tend to fall into two camps – those which start on screen and transfer to stage and those that do the journey in reverse.

Hairpray is a show with a few more layers. The show which opened on Broadway in 2002 was based on the cult John Waters film of 1988.

The show was so good that it spawned a second film in 2007, directed by Adam Shankman and starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Nikki Blonsky as Tracy.

Nikki was born the year the Waters film – in which Ricki Lake played Tracy – was released. Lake, incidentally, has a cameo role in the 2007 remake.

Who can write their own name into the Hairspray history book?

West End Operatic Society return to a 1960s setting following the success of their production of Summer Holiday at Northern Stage in 2013.

This show is set in Baltimore in 1962 and follows Tracy as she seeks stardom and battles against racial segregation.

The show is due to run at the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle, from April 13-18, 2015.

Profesional director Martyn Knight will be in charge of proceedings.

Liam Gilbert said the company was seeking a “very strong actress” to work alongside the director.

“She needs to strike up an exceptional rapport with the audience and keep them with her every step of the way.”

The auditions will take place at 7pm on September 19 at the Robert Stewart Memorial Hall, Wingrove Road, Fenham.

Anyone interested should email the society secretary on dorothycoleman01@gmail.com

Find details about all the company’s productions on www.westendoperaticsociety.com


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