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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Page: 12796


Mr EWEN JONES (Herbert) (13:51): Just recently, I went to a North Queensland Opera and Music Theatre production of Hairspray at the Townsville Civic Theatre. It was a truly fantastic event. Sarah Murr was absolutely word perfect and is a voice of the future as Tracey Turnblad. Lachlan Dalby was a young Elvis personified as Link Larkin. Andrew Higgins took the Macquarie Dictionary definition of 'double entendre' to a new level as Edna Turnblad. D'Arcy Mullamphy left his university lecturing days behind him as he turned into Wilbur Turnblad. Judy Higgins was absolutely fantastic as a petty, racist character. Vicki Saylor has the voice of an angel with a blues-roots style of presentation. It just made it so good. Kurt Fong, from my office, was in the chorus, and he played one of the bad dudes from across town. He was absolutely spectacular—and waved to us.

Hairspray, for those of you who do not know, is a story of the way we were in the 1960s. More importantly, it is the story of how one person can make a difference if they are prepared to take a stand—how one person, in the racial prejudice and segregation of the 1960s, takes a stand on national television. It is something that we can all say that we should do more of.

The way that the North Queensland Opera and Music Theatre presented their production and made the place a better place for everyone was something to behold. Townsville should be very proud. (Time expired)