X Factor veteran Marcus Collins to star in Sunderland leg of musical

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A POPULAR musical will be given an extra bit of X Factor when it lands in Sunderland.

The producers of Hairspray have announced that former X Factor contestant Marcus Collins will step into the shoes of one of the coolest kids at Patterson Park High for his musical debut.

Playing Seaweed Stubbs, son of DJ Motormouth Maybelle and love interest of Penny Pingleton, Marcus joins stars Mark Benton and Lucy Benjamin for the forthcoming tour.

Liverpool-born Marcus Collins rose to fame and won the hearts of the nation on ITV1’s 2011 season of the talent show.

Mentored by Take That’s Gary Barlow and hugely popular throughout the series, Marcus finished as runner up, losing out to Little Mix.

Since then, he has toured the UK as part of X Factor Live and has released his eponymous top 10 album, Marcus Collins.

He said: “I can’t express how thrilled I am to be joining the tour of Hairspray.

“It’s been a pretty amazing year for me and now to be cast in my dream role feels like a new part of the adventure.

“Having trained in musical theatre since my early teens I’m just itching to get into rehearsals now and so excited to be working with Mark, Lucy and the rest of the company.”

The popular musical is set in 1962 when the 50s are long gone and change is in the air.

Baltimore’s Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion – dancing.

She wins a spot on TV dance programme, The Corny Collins Show, and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity.

But can a trendsetting hair-hopper like Tracy get her massively shy mum out of the apartment, beat evil Amber to be crowned Miss Hairspray, integrate Corny’s show for good and win the heart of local heartthrob Link Larkin?

Hairspray is at the Sunderland Empire from March 4 to 9 and tickets are £18.50 to £43.50.