Smash hit musical Hairspray has found its perfect heroine for a spellbinding run in Llandudno this week.

The bright and bubbly feelgood sensation, which is currently on its six-night run at Venue Cymru, introduces audiences to the dazzling, irrepressible optimism of leading lady Rebecca Mendoza, starring in her musical debut as Tracy Turnblad.

With music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, Hairspray has had two silver screen outings in 1988 and 2007, with the stage production originally opened to rave reviews on Broadway in 2002 and subsequently won eight Tony Awards.

Picture the scene: it’s Baltimore1962 and against the backdrop of rising racial tensions and segregation, Tracy is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way on to national TV’s The Corny Collins Show, which, it just so happens, is coming to town.

On the way, she’ll find love with Baltimore heart-throb Link Larkin(Edward Chitticks) and citywide fame and will use her big hair, big personality and even bigger heart to shine through simmering racial tensions.

Mendoza was enticed from the end of her final year at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre and Drama in London by the opportunity to play one of her on-screen, on-stage idols.

She said: “I was literally in my cap and gown and then I stepped in as the lead of the show a week later with people who have been in the industry for 25 years... it was petrifying!

“It’s actually quite a similar story to my own. I struggled to get into drama school. Everybody said I was too big, that I didn’t look right. I had to audition for between two and three years before I was accepted.

“But like Tracy, I never gave up, never stopped trying and in the end, I made my dream come true.

“My inexperience allows me to play the role with a genuine truth. What Tracy is going through with her show, I’m going through with my first year in the industry.

"I can play everything as me. I’m 100 percent bringing myself to the role – that’s what makes it believable and gets the audience on their feet, they laugh and cry.

“It’s such a bubbly fun, bright musical that has incredible music you can’t stop dancing to when you leave.

"It brings such a strong message about race, body image told in a really education fun way that isn’t rammed down your throat.

“If you don’t give the audience an element of you wont have the same effect, which is particularly important when we’re tackling such strong issues. It’s not going to read the same way.

The opportunity to play Llandudno is a particularly significant milestone on the budding star’s journey.

“I’ve been around Llandudno my whole life," she said.

"It’s only an hour away from home in the Wirral. I always love coming back, I’ll definitely be getting the cast and crew up on the tobogan and to the pier.

“It’s so nice to have people I know from North Wales who have followed me on smaller stages finally see me in a leading role!”

Join Tracy and Mendoza as they sing through their moments of triumph and leave the theatre dancing and singing,

The show runs from today until Saturday at 7.30pm, with performances at 2.30pm on Wednesday and Saturday.

Tickets cost £20 to £40. Go online at or call 01492 872000.