A big musical with a big heart and something important to say returned to the Swansea Grand Theatre stage this week.

Racial segregation and fat-shaming might seem unusual subjects to deal with in a family show, but Hairspray tackles these issues in what is an uplifting and colourful theatre experience.

The action takes place in 1960’s Baltimore where teen dance show The Corny Collins Show is the most popular show on TV, but their latest recruit rebellious Tracy Turnblad, played by Rosie O’Hare, is less than happy with the fact that black dancers are only allowed to appear on the show once a month.

Along with her friends Link, Penny and Seaweed, Tracy plans to get the “minority group” on the show every day.

O’Hare is a thundering presence as Tracy Turnblad, playing up the character’s comic doltishness and the naivety that ultimately helps her succeed in de-segregating The Corny Collins Show.

Each member of the cast excels individually and are all in complete sync as an ensemble.

Brenda Edwards portrays Motormouth Mabel perfectly with her excellent vocals and sassy attitude to match.

One highlight comes courtesy of Tracy’s parents’ song ‘You’re Timeless to Me’ which allowed Matthew Rixon and Graham MacDuff aka Edna and Wilbur Turnblad show off their banteress relationship through the romantic duet which left the audience in stiches.

But it’s when the four young leads sing together, particularly at the end of Without Love, that the show really flies. Daniel Partridge, as popular Link, makes a great pair with O’Hare, and, as Penny and Seaweed, Annalise Liard-Bailey’s strong voice is a great complement to Shak Gabbidon-Williams’ extraordinary dance moves.

The standing ovation which followed the final number ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ shows the mark that this big, blonde and beautiful show has as left in the city.