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Michael Ball reprises his Olivier-winning role as Edna Turnblad alongside Paul Merton as the feelgood musical returns
Since 2015, English National Opera has dabbled increasingly with the world of musical theatre, usually staging its own short, starry revivals of neglected musical hits at the end of its spring seasons, while throwing open its doors to guest musicals over the summers. This would appear to be going out of the window for 2020, when the Coliseum will simply host one long (12-week) revival of big-hearted, acceptance-preaching, ’60s-homaging musical ‘Hairspray’. It’s being billed as a new production, though fans of the original – which closed in 2010 – are unlikely to be disappointed, as it reunites director Jack O’Brie, choreographer Jerry Mitchell, and star Michael Ball, who will reprise his Olivier-winning turn as Edna Turnblad, mother to the show's irrepressible teenage heroine Tracey. He’ll be joined by Paul Merton, of all people, as Wilbur Turnblad, plus Lizzie Bea as Tracey, plus Marisha Wallace, Rita Simons and Jonny Amies.