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Oliver Dowden hails ‘tremendous’ Hairspray production after its opening night

He was pictured alongside Michael Ball at the London Coliseum ahead of the performance.

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Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden with Michael Ball (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden with Michael Ball (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden with Michael Ball (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has hailed a “tremendous” performance of the musical Hairspray in the West End after going to watch the production.

He was pictured meeting Michael Ball before watching the opening night of the production at the London Coliseum theatre.

Singer Ball, who plays Edna Turnblad in the musical, was photographed in drag alongside the politician.

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(Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

(Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

(Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

After watching the production, Mr Dowden tweeted: “Huge congratulations to @HairsprayLondon who put on a tremendous performance this evening!

“A joy to watch! I know that theatres have had to endure many tough restrictions but we are making progress thanks to the vaccine, and I can’t wait to see theatres full again very soon.”

While some theatres have reopened following the easing of coronavirus restrictions, they are only allowed to put on performances in front of reduced audiences in accordance with social distancing measures until July 19.

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(Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

(Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

(Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Adam Spiegel, the producer of Hairspray, said he is “thrilled” Mr Dowden attended the opening night.

He added: “The reopening of theatres is crucial in restoring life to city centres, and so it is great that the Culture Secretary is here to celebrate Michael Ball and our award-winning production taking to the stage of this magnificent theatre.”

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