Hairspray + Poetry

Hairspray + Poetry

classified PG

Musicals, Rewritten?


Please note: This was screened in Jan 2020

Adam Shankman
Queen Latifah, Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken
120 mins, 2007, USA
Primary language:

Set in Baltimore in 1962, Adam Shankman’s glittering production of Hairspray - adapted from the 2002 stage production and John Waters’ gloriously kitsch 1988 film - with its all-star ensemble cast is a celebratory call for equality and acceptance.

The story follows bright and bubbly teen Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonksy) as she shoots to local stardom after joining the city’s most telegenic teeny-bopper dancers on the "The Corny Collins Show”. With the politics of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement brewing, people of colour are relegated to a once-a-month “Negro Day” presided over by Motormouth Maybelle (Queen Latifah). Fighting against the viper-tongued discrimination of television executive Velma Von Tussle (Michelle Pfeiffer), Tracy along with dance-mate Seaweed (Elijah Kelly) envisage a future of racial integration where “every day is Negro Day”.

With camp and over-the-top performances from Christopher Walken, John Travolta (in vanilla drag as Edna Turnblad), Zac Efron (Tracy’s would-be beau) this is a knowingly corny and unabashedly utopian film that only the most ferocious cynic could resist!

Screening as part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and ICO.

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Join us for a spoken word performance introduction inspired by the film with Malaika Kegode and Caroline Teague.