Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House

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I regularly travel from Scarborough to Leeds just to see a show here. It is a lovely old Victorian theatre right in the city centre. Parking might be an issue but I always travel by train, and it's only a ten minute walk from the station. It can get rather crowded in the foyer, and the theatre has seen better days, but it's still well worth a visit. I saw Hairspray here, and have reviewed this as well.

Hairspray review (Leeds)

I originally booked tickets to see Hairspray in Bradford in December 2011, however even though I travelled there from Scarborough, the cast were stuck in the snow, and the performance was cancelled. Taking no chances this time, I booked tickets for a matinee in August. This show has one of the best openings to any show, with Good Morning Baltimore being an all-time favourite of mine. It is a great feel good show tune and sets the scene brilliantly. Of course, Hairspray is renowned as being the most happy, funny, sunny show in town, and the story of Tracy Turnblad is well known to anyone who has seen the classic movie. Tracy was played by newcomer Freya Sutton, and was brilliant in the role. I was disappointed though that two of the show’s stars, Mark Benton and Marcus Collins were indisposed, as I feel that audiences in the suburbs are often short changed in this way. Much of the music is not as good as the opening number, and I felt that some of the songs were rather too loud, and often shouted out, rather than sung. That said, the last fifteen minutes of Hairspray is excellent, and overall this is a very good show. It is impossible not to leave the theatre with a massive grin on your face, and it is impossible not to fall head over heels in love with Tracy Turnblad.

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