AN ALL-STAR cast burst on to the stage at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre to announce the return of feel-good musical Hairspray.

The near sell-out audience was grinning from ear-to-ear as the smash-hit musical comedy brought cheerful 1960s Baltimore to gloomy January England.

This show always draws the crowds and it’s easy to see why, particularly with the clever casting of this latest production.

Stunning voices, dazzling dance routines and upbeat songs make it impossible to leave the theatre without feeling uplifted.

Hit songs including You Can’t Stop the Beat, Welcome to the 60s and The Nicest Kids in Town, had people bopping in their seats but the top names stole the show with some breath-taking performances.

The film's Queen Latifah is a near-impossible act to follow as Motormouth Maybelle but Brenda Edwards’ powerful voice brought the audience to its feet.

Comedian Norman Pace’s performance as Wilbur Turnblad, alongside endearing Matt Rixon as Edna, made for a heart-warming and funny performance of Timeless To Me.

But, as usual, it was Layton Williams who put in the performance of the night as Seaweed.

His dancing always provokes a gasp from the audience and this is no exception.

I can only imagine the world of musical theatre can be a very frustrating place for its performers.

For this incredibly talented cast, it must be more than a little bit infuriating to be upstaged by one man who single-handedly prompted a much-deserved standing ovation.

This show manages the difficult task of being great fun while also carrying some powerful messages about racism.

Hairspray runs until Saturday night but don’t hang around – the tickets are flying off the shelves.