THE cast has been announced for a new production of the smash hit musical Hairspray ahead of its Southampton run this winter.

Benidorm star Tony Maudsley – well known as Kenneth to viewers of the ITV sitcom – will play Edna Turnblad in the major 40-week UK tour which comes to the Mayflower Theatre on November 16-21.

He will be joined by TV and stage actress and presenter Claire Sweeney (Educating Rita, Guys and Dolls) as blonde antagonist and chief villain Velma Von Tussle.

Claire first came to prominence as Lindsey Corkhill in Channel 4 soap Brookside. Since leaving in 2003, she has found acclaim on stage with a wealth of leading roles. She is a popular TV presenter and panellist in shows such as 60 Minute Makeover, Loose Women and, more recently, Magic FM. where she hosts a musical theatre-themed show.

Olivier Award-nominated actor and much-loved Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan (BBC1’s Tumble) plays Wilbur Turnblad, and British singer and West End performer Brenda Edwards (Chicago, We Will Rock You, The X Factor) is Motormouth Maybelle.

Freya Sutton will reprise the lead role of Tracy Turnblad, which she first played on a previous UK tour in 2013.

Established musical theatre performer Jon Tsouras (A Chorus Line) will play the role of Corny Collins.

Dex Lee (The Scottsboro Boys) will play Seaweed, Ashley Gilmour (Miss Saigon) will play Link Larkin, Lauren Stroud (Wicked) will play Amber, Monique Young (Top Hat) will play Penny, Karis Jack (Urinetown) will play Little Inez, Adam Price (Hairspray) will play Male Authority Figure, Tracey Penn (Made in Dagenham) will play Female Authority Figure and Layton Williams (Bad Education, Billy Elliot) will play Duane.

Daily Echo:

Peter Duncan

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 on to national TV.

Daily Echo:

Tony Maudsley

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.

Tickets for Hairspray are on sale from the Mayflower Theatre box office on 023 8071 1811 or online at

For Ovation Restaurant bookings call 023 8071 1833.