Find a show or venue


Order by phone

0845 505 8500

Your independent guide to the best shows in London

210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8DP

Show poster


Ended 28 Mar 2010 after 2 years

star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating

You will laugh, you will scream, you might even shed a sentimental tear or two.

Charles Spencer, The Telegraph

Closed 28 Mar 2010


Based on the1988 cult film by John Waters, Hairspray is a multi-award winning musical about accepting physical difference and the right to racial integration. With big, bold and colourful costumes and set, and sensational choreography by Jerry Mitchell, the smash-hit musical comedy combines top-notch entertainment with gentle mockery of 1960s white liberalism's naivety and the injustices in parts of American society. Directed by Jack O'Brien, Hairspray is lively, uplifting, generous of spirit and full of fun.


It's the early Sixties. Tracy Turnblad, a chubby 16-year old from Baltimore, dream of dancing. She and her friend Penny Pingleton are devotees to The Corny Collins Show, a studio-based TV dance show which pumps out the latest pop songs while sizzling young dancers pull their moves. Somehow Tracy succeeds in winning an audition to be on the show and is determined to beat the favoured contestant, claiming the title of Miss Hairspray 1962.

But Tracy's eyes are opened to the racial segregation and discrimination - the existence of Corny's monthly "Negro Day" only being one example - and the big-hearted, buxom lass with voluminous hair begins a campaign for integration, in her town and in her favourite TV show.


The musical's original version first opened on Broadway in 2002. In 2003 it was nominated for 13 Tony Awards, winning eight of them. It ran for six and a half years, with over 2500 performances. When it opened in London West End's Shaftesbury Theatre, it was nominated for a record-setting 11 Olivier Awards, winning four including Best New Musical in 2008. It played over 1000 performances and grossed over £50 million in the UK, and became the longest running show at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 40 years.

Additional Information


Previews from: 11 October 2007

Opening night: 30 October 2007

Closing night: 28 March 2010


Hairspray is recommended for children aged 8 and upwards. Children under 4 years of age will not be admitted into the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Run time

Two hours 30 minswith one 20 minute intermission.

Show times


Hairspray Shop


Great night out: for sheer energy and lots of fun
Morning after effect: "Good Morning Baltimore..."
Recommend to friends:... more »

What You Say

56 reviews, average rating: (4.7 Stars)

Anonymous: “What A Show !”

Saw this show in New York and loved it. Wasn't sure about Michael Ball as E... more

Mrs Hemmings: “Excellent Show.”

I vistied the theatre with my daughter who is in a wheelchair and partially... more

Dawn & Terry Stewart: “The Energy Leaps From The Stage”

I brought my wife to see Hairspray as a birthday treat and what a treat it ... more

View all reviewsWrite review


Please note: The term Shaftesbury Theatre and/or Hairspray as well as all associated graphics, logos, and/or other tradermarks, tradenames or copyrights are the property of the Shaftesbury Theatre and/or Hairspray and are used herein for factual descriptive purposes only. We are in no way associated with or authorized by the Shaftesbury Theatre and/or Hairspray and neither that entity nor any of its affiliates have licensed or endorsed us to sell tickets, goods and or services in conjunction with their events.

What's on When

You might also like:

Keep up to date