EastEnders star Rita Simons prepares for Hairspray reprise

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

EastEnders star Rita Simons prepares for Hairspray reprise

Actress ill tread the boards as Velma Von Tussle when the show returns for a limited season at the London Coliseum next month. 

Don’t hold back the lacquer! EastEnders actress Rita Simons is getting her updo ready as she prepares to reprise her role in Hairspray, which returns for a limited season at the London Coliseum next month. 

Simons – who is the niece of business guru Lord Alan Sugar – will tread the boards as Velma Von Tussle, alongside the recently-announced Les Dennis as Wilbur Turnblad, West End star Michael Ball as Edna Turnblad and Sex Education’s Jonny Amies as Link Larkin.

Lizzie Bea will star as Tracy Turnblad, while Marisha Wallace takes on the role of Motormouth. 

It’s 1962 and Baltimore teenager Tracy Turnblad dreams of dancing on The Corny Collins Show. When she wins a role on the show, she become a celebrity overnight – but will her newfound legion of fans still follow her as she campaigns for the show to become more inclusive – whatever a person’s colour, size or hairdo?

The Olivier Award-winning show, produced by Adam Spiegel Productions and Fiery Angel, features a punchy soundtrack including Good Morning Baltimore, Big, Blonde and Beautiful and You Can’t Stop the Beat.

Hairspray opens at London Coliseum from 21 June,

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: