REVIEW: What we learnt at the opening night of Hairspray

We sent Newcastle Live’s Dan Beazley off to the Newcastle Entertainment Centre last night for the opening night of the largest production of Hairspray ever staged in the world. Here’s what we learnt from his experience. 

Tim Campbell is the perfect Corny Collins

It's opening night of @hairsprayarenaspectacular in Newcastle! Don't miss this mega production playing this weekend only!

A post shared by Harvest Rain Theatre Company (@harvest_rain) on

The performance of the night for me. The accent, the voice, the timing… Just spot on. Add in some hair and costuming, and Tim IS Corny Collins.

Simon Burke & Wayne Scott Kermond are hilarious

These guys really get to stretch their comic abilities in this production. Complete with local references, these guys knew all the right moves to make an audience laugh.

Lauren McKenna – What a voice!

On par with Nicole Margaret for her portrayal of leading lady, Tracy Turnblad. And what a voice – Good Morning Baltimore!

It’s big

This show does what it says on the box. It’s big! The scale of this thing is possibly the shows greatest asset and one of its only issues. While there’s always something to look at, a lot of the action is directed to the front of the arena. I sat to the side, and I couldn’t have been happier, but I thought it was worth noting.

The kids are the real stars of the show

Over 500 local students are taking part in this production… and they’re going off! These kids really add to this production, and it’s not just a scale thing. They can dance, act, sing all while making sure they don’t trip over each other and it’s a sight to see. Worth the admission price alone!

Newcastle has forgotten how to have a good time

HAIRSPRAY @melleh91👯🎉💛#datenight

A post shared by B E C K Y (@beckhardes) on

Maybe we’re out of practice living under these nanny state licensing laws for entertainment venues, but if last night is anything to go by, Newcastle has forgotten how to have a good time. When a cast of over 500 people (including your kids) tell u to get up and dance during the finale… That’s what you do! Not sit on your arses, glaring at the people who dare to dance and have a good time. And would it hurt you to clap and cheer with a little enthusiasm? It’s embarrassing.


Newcastle Entertainment Centre

Friday 15 July 2016 at 7:30pm – Sunday 17 July 2016 at 1:00pm
Saturday 16 July 2016 at 2:00pm
Saturday 16 July 2016 at 7:30pm
Sunday 17 July 2016 at 1:00pm



Written by Newcastle Live

If it’s on in Newcastle, it’s on Newcastle Live

With this simple philosophy and a passion for local entertainment, Newcastle Live was born.

Newcastle Live is the Hunter’s premier online entertainment and lifestyle guide, a place devoted to all the great things happening in the region.

We’re your one-stop destination to find out what’s happening this weekend and keep up to date with the latest local entertainment and lifestyle news, reviews, features, and giveaways.

Newcastle Live boasts one of the Hunter’s most comprehensive gig and events guide updated every week, where you can easily submit your own event or register your venue.

Sign up to our free eNewsletter to receive the very best of Newcastle Live straight to your inbox every week!


Leave a Reply
  1. My daughter is in the show. What an amazing experience for all the children involved. I am sure they will treasure this forever. How wonderful they all were! I saw Friday nights show and I totally agree with you about the audience participation at the end…how hard is it to show a little enthusiasm after these kids have put in weeks and hours of sweat and tired tears. You will be happy to know however that at Saturdays 2 pm show many people got up and danced (including me) and showed their appreciation. Maybe it was a Friday night after work lack of energy! Here is hoping.

  2. Well, I got up and danced. I would have liked to have danced all night but I don’t think the people sitting behind me would have appreciated that. Was a spectacular show and all of those beautiful Newcastle dancers did an amazing job. Well done!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.