The producers of HAIRSPRAY today announced that The X Factor's Marcus Collins will join stars Mark Benton and Lucy Benjamin on the show's forthcoming UK and Ireland tour, which opens at Manchester's Lowry Theatre in February next year.
Marcus Collins will play Seaweed Stubbs, one of the coolest kids at Patterson Park High, son of DJ Motormouth Maybelle and love interest of Penny Pingleton. He joins previously announced Mark Benton as larger than life Edna Turnblad, Lucy Benjamin as scheming TV executive Velma Von Tussle and newcomer Freya Sutton as big-hearted, big-haired teen heroine Tracy Turnblad.
Liverpool born and bred, Marcus Collins rose to fame, and won the hearts of the nation, on ITV1's 2011 season of The X Factor. Mentored by music legend Gary Barlow and hugely popular throughout the series, Marcus eventually finished as runner up in front of a sold out audience at Wembley Arena and more than 14 million viewers watching at home. Since then he has toured the UK as part of The X Factor Live tour and has released the Top 10 album, Marcus Collins. His leading role in Hairspray marks his musical theatre debut.
Marcus Collins said:
I can't express how thrilled I am to be joining the tour of Hairspray. It's been a pretty amazing year for me and now to be cast in my dream role feels like a great new part of the adventure! Having trained in musical theatre since my early teens I'm just itching to get into rehearsals now and so excited to be working with Mark, Lucy and the rest of the company. Roll on February.
The cast also includes Gemma Sutton, Lauren Hood, Sandra Marvin, Gabriella Brooks, Josh Piterman, Daniel Stockton, Wendy Sommerville, Jocasta Almgill, Sophia Brown, Lori Barker, Andrew Bryant, David Ribi, Lewis Kirk, Piers Bate, Amelia Adams-Pearce, Francesca Hoffman, Samantha Hull, Fela Lufadeju, Noel Samuels, Claudia Kariuki, Simone Mistry-Palmer, Arun Blair-Mangat, Sam Lathwood, Laura Thorogood, Nikki Pocklington and Mark Hilton.
It's 1962, the 50s are out and change is in the air. Baltimore's Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion – dancing. She wins a spot on the local TV dance programme, The Corny Collins Show and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a trendsetting hair-hopper like Tracy get her massively shy Mom out of the apartment, beat evil Amber to be crowned Miss Hairspray, integrate Corny's show for good AND win the heart of local heartthrob Link Larkin, all without denting her super high 'do'? If anyone can, Tracy can!
The musical HAIRSPRAY opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London on October 2007, recouping its entire capitalisation in record-breaking time. The show received universal critical acclaim and smash hit business, eventually playing more than 1000 performances to well over 1 million people. At the 2008 Olivier Awards, HAIRSPRAY won Best Musical, as well as a further three awards from a record breaking eleven nominations. The show has also won Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards, the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers Choice Awards, the Critics' Circle Awards and the Variety Club Showbiz Awards. It embarked on its first UK tour in 2010 playing to nearly ¾ million people in sold out houses across Britain. Further afield the show has played at venues around the world, including six years on Broadway, and won more than 40 major theatre awards.