York Stage Musicals presentation of Hairspray are searching for talent

28 September 2014

York Stage Musicals are looking to build on their recent success of Sister Act and are seeking actors from across the region to take part in the musical comedy HAIRSPRAY which is to make its début at the Grand Opera House, York during Easter week from 27 March to 4 April 2015.

As one of the city’s leading producing companies, they have a reputation for the high standard of their work and have often been hailed as a semi-professional production company. This was reflected in their critically acclaimed production of Sister Act when they attracted the talents of ‘I’d Do Anything Finalist’ and West End star Cleopatra Rey who played ‘Deloris Van Cartier’ in their recent hit.

Not only are YSM regarded as one of the best production companies in the city, they are also well known for the amount of actors who have worked with the group and have gone on to have successful careers in musical theatre in the West End and beyond. Notable shows comprise of hits such as Les Miserables, Dog Fight and Hairspray.

The first meeting for anyone wishing to take part will be held at 7:30pm on Wednesday 8 October, at 41 Monkgate in York.

Director-choreographer, Jessica Hardcastle said: We require teenage and adult actors who can sing and dance to take part in the show.

No prior experience is necessary, just the confidence and desire to perform.

York Stage Musicals is always looking for new talent, so that it may identify and hone the actors of tomorrow. Recent success stories have included Ashley Stilburn (previously Stilborn) who is now playing Fueily and understudy Marius in Les Miserable, West End. Olivia Evans who was in the national tour of Sister Act in 2012, Alistair Scott Baron who toured with The Phantom of the Opera and Scott Garnam who has played in Les Miserbales and I Can’t Sing; The X-Factor Musical.

HAIRSPRAY follows the plight of loveable teen-dreamer Tracy Turnblad who is a big girl with big hair (and an even bigger heart) who becomes the unexpected star of local TV dance program, The Corny Collins Show, much to the frustration of the show’s villainous producer, Velma Von Tussle.

The back drop for HAIRSPRAY is 1960’s Baltimore, US where black is black and white is white and ‘pleasantly plump’ girls certainly don’t dance on TV.

Never shy of standing up for what she believes in, Tracy launches a riotous campaign to integrate The Corny Collins Show. As she dances her way into the nation’s hearts, Tracy falls for fellow TV star and teen-idol Link Larkin while her gawky, ever-loyal best-friend Penny Pingleton catches the eye of a guy from the ‘wrong side’ of town.

Jessica added: Given the nature of the storyline, we are seeking black actors in particular to join our company for this show.

Anyone interested should get in touch.

Having choreographed several productions for YSM such as last September’s Grease, The Producers and Jesus Christ Superstar, Hardcastle will take on the wider role of director-choreographer for the first time. Adam Tomlinson, who you will know from BBC Radio York, will take on the role as musical director (Annie, Peter Pan, Jesus Christ Superstar, Grand Opera House).

With an original soundtrack of swinging-sixties-style and “downtown” rhythm and blues tunes, songs such as You Can’t Stop The Beat and Run and Tell That will be sure to have audiences mash-potato-ing all the way home.

Winner of eight Tony Awards, HAIRSPRAY has played to sold out houses in London, Broadway and theatres across the globe.

According to YSM’s artistic director and the show’s producer, Nik Briggs, HAIRSPRAY promises to build on the success of its recently acclaimed production, Sister Act, as it debuts at a major theatre in York for the first time.

YSM are now focussed on finding the right performers to fill the various roles from the title role of Tracy to the various ensemble members who appear throughout the show.

Jessica said: We want to attract the best cast possible and urge any talented performers to come along to our first cast meeting to find out more.

Anyone wishing to take part should contact director Jessica Hardcastle via email or visit, or their Twitter page (@yorkstagemusic).

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