The countdown to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre’s long-awaited reopening is on - and Hairspray will be the first musical to take to the stage in September.

The international phenomenon will be arriving at the theatre on Monday, September 6, with shows until Saturday, September 11.

It’s Baltimore 1962, where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV.

Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for equality, bagging local heartthrob Link Larkin along the way.

Hairspray is a musical based on the 1988 film of the same name which starred Divine and Ricki Lake by cult filmmaker John Waters.

With music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, Hairspray originally opened to rave reviews on Broadway in 2002 and subsequently won eight Tony Awards.

The production opened in London at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2007 and won four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, Best Actress in a Musical and Best Performance in a Supporting Role.

Following the musical’s phenomenal success on stage across the world - opening in places like South Africa, Japan, South Korea, China and Dubai - a film of the musical was released in 2007 which starred Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes and James Marsden.

Grease star John Travolta took on the larger than life character of Tracy’s mum Edna Turnblad, who runs a laundry business from home and is not keen on leaving the house.

The musical production has musical theatre star and television presenter Brenda Edwards (Chicago, We Will Rock You, The X Factor, Loose Women and Songs of Praise) starring as Motormouth Maybelle alongside comedy legend Norman Pace (ITV’s The Hale and Pace Show) who will play Wilbur Turnblad.

West End leading man Alex Bourne (Annie, Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You) will play Edna Turnblad.

Katie Brace will make her professional stage debut as Tracy Turnblad with Rebecca Thornhill as Velma, Richard Meek as Corny Collins, Ross Clifton as Link Larkin, Jessica Croll as Amber Von Tussle, Rebecca Jane Davies as Penny Pingleton and Charlotte St. Croix as Little Inez.

Expect to hear hit songs including Welcome To The 60s, You Can’t Stop The Beat, The Nicest Kids in Town and many more.

Hairspray is directed by Paul Kerryson with choreography by Drew McOnie, designs by Takis, lighting design by Philip Gladwell and sound design by Ben Harrison.

Tickets are available now, prices start from £13 at