COMIC Norman Pace, best known as one half of the popular duo Hale and Pace, is starring as Wilbur Turnblad during the UK tour of smash hit musical Hairspray's Mayflower Theatre stint this week.

It’s Baltimore 1962, where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV. Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for equality, bagging local heartthrob Link Larkin along the way.

Taking a break from being larger than life Tracy's Dad in the show, he told the Daily Echo: "Wilbur is a fascinating character; he is quirky, wise, strange. I was attracted to the role because I found different ways of delivering all his lines to get the maximum effect from them and it’s one of those things that even 125 performances in, I continue to do and now I just seem to turn into him as soon as the costume is on. I thought this role, the role of Wilbur, was right for me. I looked at it on paper and it immediately reflected what I’m good at, what I think I do best. I just knew it really wanted to do this.

"I think a show like Hairspray had such an enduring appeal because it’s the best night out in Theatre that you can have, certainly that’s what I have found the audiences have said, it is beautifully structured, incredibly well written, very energetic, great songs and it’s funny to boot!"

He is joined on stage by Matt Rixon (The Ladykillers, Around the World in 80 Days) reprising his role as Edna Turnblad, musical theatre star Brenda Edwards (Chicago, We Will Rock You, The X Factor) returning as Motormouth Maybelle and Layton Williams (Bad Education, Rent) starring as Seaweed.

Hairspray, described by our reviewer as brilliant, bright and bold with big hair and even bigger performances, continues until Saturday.

Tickets: 023 8071 1811 or