Jupitus, Carlisle and Clarke to Join Cast of London's Hairspray

News   Jupitus, Carlisle and Clarke to Join Cast of London's Hairspray
Comedy star Phill Jupitus, pop icon Belinda Carlisle and West End musical theatre and TV star Sharon D. Clarke will join the London cast of the award-winning musical Hairspray, beginning Oct. 26 at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
Belinda Carlisle and Phill Jupitus
Belinda Carlisle and Phill Jupitus Photo by Hugo Glendinning

Jupitus, Carlisle and Clarke will replace current stars Brian Conley, Liz Robertson and Sandra Marvin as Edna Turnblad, Velma Von Tussle and Motormouth Mabel respectively. Also newly joining the cast are Tony Timberlake (replacing Nigel Planer as Wilbur Turnblad), Nicola Brazil (replacing Zoe Rainey as Amber Von Tussle) and Gavin Alex (replacing Paul Manuel as Corny Collins). Other principals Chloe Hart (Tracy Turnblad), Verity Rushworth (Penny) Liam Tamne (Link Larkin), Adrian Hansel (Seaweed) and Raquel Jones (Little Inez) will remain with the show.

Jupitus is a comedian, broadcaster, writer and actor who has appeared on British television and radio and the stage for over 20 years. He was last seen on the London stage in a short run of Nick Reed's play lifecoach, which played at the Trafalgar Studios 2 in May 2008. His career began at record label Go Discs where he was press officer for The Housemartins and directed videos for Billy Bragg and Kirsty McColl. He also worked as a performance poet and compered for acts like Madness, The Who and Paul Weller before becoming a regular fixture on the U.K. comedy circuit. He has appeared on many television and radio panel shows including "QI" and "News Quiz," and was a regular team captain on the hit BBC 2 show "Never Mind The Buzzcocks," and has toured extensively with his one-man shows. As a DJ, Jupitus played the first-ever record on BBC6 Music as host of the "Breakfast Show," which he presented for five years. He is also a columnist (and sometime cartoonist) for The Times' football supplement The Game and regularly records football and music podcasts.

Carlisle is a Grammy Award-nominated singer and actress. As lead singer of the groundbreaking band The GoGo's, she was part of the first-ever girl group who wrote and played their own music to top the Billboard Charts in the U.S. Following extensive touring with The GoGo's, her solo career was hugely successful with global hits including "Circle In The Sand," "Leave A Light On For Me," "I Get Weak," "We Want The Same Thing," "Live Your Life Be Free" and the international number one "Heaven Is A Place On Earth." Screen credits include the movie "Swing Shift" and TV appearances on "Dancing With The Stars" (ABC) and "Hell's Kitchen" (ITV1).

Olivier Award nominee Clarke's previous West End credits include runs in Chicago, We Will Rock You, The Lion King, Rent and Guys & Dolls as well as many productions at the Hackney Empire. On TV she played Dr. Lolo Griffin on BBC1's "Holby City" for over three years, and was a judge on BBC's "Last Choir Standing" in 2008. She has also appeared on many chart singles as a guest vocalist, including "Going Back To My Roots" (with FPI Project) and "I Wanna Give You Devotion" (with Nomad).

Hairspray is now booking to April 2010. To book tickets, contact the box office at 0207 379 5399 or visit www.hairspraythemusical.com.

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