Justin Lee Collins in Hairspray? And Legally Blonde on stage too

Theatre Breaks

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It’s been a while since I wrote about what’s going on in the West End theatre scene in London – but a few news articles I’ve read recently have definitely given me the impetus to correct this!

For starters, anyone that reads this blog regularly will know that I’m a huge fan of the musical Hairspray. I’m yet to see the current West End version (trying to get tickets for June, fingers crossed) but I’ve just read a report from The Stage, which says that TV presenter Justin Lee Collins may be playing the role of Edna Turnblad – currently embodied by Michael Ball – at some point in the future…

I’m not too sure how I feel about this. I’ve always been a little ambivalent towards the Friday (and Sunday) Night Project, which is the only TV show I know Justin Lee Collins from. However, I’m sure he’s a very talented musical performer – in fact, his performance as Amos Hart in the musical Chicago last year seems to have been well received. Plus, I was sceptical about John Travolta playing Edna in the 2006 film – and in the end, I thought he was fantastic.

In other West End news, Legally Blonde looks set to get a stage makeover! I have to say, I really loved the first film with Reese Witherspoon (but liked the second one less), and the original book by Amanda Brown is entertaining too. But it does make me wonder how easily the whole chick-lit atmosphere will translate into the theatre. I mean, can you imagine Bridget Jones on stage? With the right selection of pop hits, I think it could be a great musical – but it would be hard to pull off.

In non-musical news, the Donmar Warehouse in Covent Garden has recently announced its new programme, and I’m pretty excited about it. Rachel Weisz will be in a new production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, for example. And better still, British actor Dominic West is going to be in a version of Life is a Dream, a play that I must admit I’ve never heard of.

West is in HBO drama The Wire, one of my favourite TV shows ever – watch it now, if you haven’t yet! He’s absolutely great in it – which makes me think he’s the perfect addition to London‘s theatre scene.

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