Blow-dry the cobwebs away at Theatre at The Mill’s new hairy Christmas cracker
Caroline Curran renews her festive partnership with Theatre at The Mill with Jingle All the Hairspray – a riotous, razor sharp tale of fun and friendship set in Scary Bears Hair and Beauty Salon.
After ten years of starring in the Mossley Mill theatre’s Christmas spectacular, this is Caroline’s first solely written show, stuffed full of madcap comedy, twists and turns and original songs.
This Christmas ‘hairytale’ has loads of topical references to Brexit, the NI Protocol, Covid-19 and lateral flow tests, Love Island, East Enders, and the QVC Shopping Channel. The show is full of adults-only laughs, drama and a few tears in a glitzy, glamour-filled setting.
Having set previous shows in a hospital ward, a pub, and a credit union, Jingle All the Hairspray tackles the hairdressing salon where Northern Ireland’s women get the chance to bare their souls, gossip and occasionally tear strips out of each other.
Caroline said: “Having decided to set the show in a Hairdressing and Beauty Salon, I spent the last few months visiting places and watching the customers. I have a lot of friends who are hairdressers or owners of beauty salons and they all tell their own stories. Christmas is their busiest time of the year and it is not just the curling tongs that can get heated!”
The show also features nine original, highly entertaining new songs belted out by the cast including Jolene O’Hara, lead vocalist in Lush! Classical and a member of the Songbirds Duo with sister Philippa. The cast also features two Theatre at The Mill Christmas favourites, Abigail McGibbon, and Patrick Buchanan.
Claire Connor plays the central role of Scary Bears owner, Ali, who is desperately trying to get her place ready before a visit from the inspector of The Good Salon Guide. Ali has inherited the salon from her late mum and wants to fulfil her dream of getting a five-star review before she decides on her future. But her no-good husband Dave is encouraging her to sell up so he can sail around the world on his boat.
A cast of colourful characters bring the hilarious script to life but amid the comedy there are tears with poignant scenes in tribute to Caroline’s best friend, co-writer and long-time collaborator, Julie Maxwell who tragically died in August 2019.
Caroline explained: “I added a scene where one of the customers describes the turmoil of losing their best friend. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster writing my first show alone. It features the type of wacky and weird comedy that I wrote with Julie, but it was difficult because I would usually have someone there to sound out what was funny and what wasn’t.”
Bringing some order to the Christmas Chaos is Minnie the Inspector from the Good Salon Guide. It is clear to Minnie that Ali loves her business and her customers, but will she award her the Good Salon Guide’s illustrious five stars? And will Ali sell Scary Bears and waltz off with Dave on his boat?
“I want the audience at Theatre at the Mill to enjoy an edge-of-the-seat, fun-filled ride. This is a feelgood, all-in Christmas makeover,” Caroline added.
Jingle All the Hairspray: A Christmas Hairytale will be on stage from December 7-31. For details on how to book tickets go to: https://theatreatthemill.com/