Hairspray: The School Musical

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Hairspray: The School Musical
Hairspray School logo.jpg
Presented byDenise van Outen
JudgesZoë Tyler
Stacey Haynes
Benjamin Endsley Klein
Danny Austin
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series1
No. of episodes8[1]
Running time45 minutes
Production company(s)Mentorn Media
for Sky Television
Original networkSky1
Original release31 August 2008 –
October 2008
External links

Hairspray: The School Musical is a 2008 reality TV series, broadcast on Sky1 in the UK, charting the development of a comprehensive school's production of the Broadway and West End musical Hairspray.


The series is presented by musical theatre actor Denise van Outen, narrated by Rich Rust and features vocal coach Zoë Tyler and choreographer Stacey Haynes as mentors to the students of Kingsmead School,[2] a comprehensive secondary school with specialist performing and visual arts status in Enfield, North London.[3] It follows the production from auditions to its first performance, held at London's Lyric Theatre on 31 August 2008.[4] There was also a behind-the-scenes section of the programme, posted online, hosted by Ben James-Ellis, the West End's Link Larkin. Two members of the Broadway production team - Benjamin Endsley Klein (directing) and Danny Austin (choreography) - serve as consultants to the school production.[5]


In The Guardian, Lucy Mangan said that although she was not expecting the programme to provide "an enjoyable hour's entertainment", "the unforced charm and ebullience of [...] London's juvenile population quickly swept the viewer up" and that she would be watching "another gloriously uplifting hour next week".[6] Theatre columnist Mark Shenton, having seen the finished production, suggested that although the series shows "inevitably a heightened version of the experience of putting on a show [...] it will surely encourage [the young actors] to do so again". He also noted that the West End production of Hairspray "is sure to be the first winner, as audiences follow the TV experience by seeing it live for themselves".[5]

The first episode attracted almost 500,000 viewers, leading Richard Woolfe, the controller of Sky1, to suggest that the series could continue with other productions: "I have a sneaking suspicion we will be coming back for a bit more. Whatever the viewing figures ... we have changed lives."[7]

The next Series appeared one year later called Grease: The School Musical and was broadcast between 31 August and October on Sky 1.[8]


  1. ^ "Mentorn Media to Produce Hairspray Summer Event for Sky One". Mentorn Media. Archived from the original on 4 June 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2008.
  2. ^ "Cast". Hairspray School Musical. Sky. Retrieved 7 September 2008.
  3. ^ "Kingsmead School - Home Page". Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2008.
  4. ^ Shenton, Mark (31 August 2008). "Students Perform Hairspray in London Aug. 31 as "Hairspray: The School Musical" TV Series Begins". Archived from the original on 1 September 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2008.
  5. ^ a b Shenton, Mark (1 September 2008). "From High School Musical to the real deal…". The Stage. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2008.
  6. ^ Mangan, Lucy (2 September 2008). "Cable Girl". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 September 2008.
  7. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (2 September 2008). "Sky1 cues up more school musicals". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 September 2008.
  8. ^ "Grease". Grease School Musical. Sky 1.

External links[edit]