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Energetic cast of Hairspray bounced into Woking with show’s central theme of race relevant as ever

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Photo Credit: Mark Senior

The cast of Hairspray lit up Woking last week with a fantastically fun and energetic performance.

Cast illness meant performances were cancelled on two of the six days they were at the New Victoria Theatre.

But those that were lucky enough to attend were treated to a high-tempo musical, superb singing and vibrant costumes.

Based on the 1988 John Waters film and set in Baltimore two decades earlier, the issue of racism that is central to the show seemed topical to the current day, after last year’s BLM movement and the abuse suffered by England footballers at the team’s European final defeat.

It was a joyous and uplifting performance that left me feeling empowered, and that we all have the ability to create change to better ourselves or the world we share.

Teenager Tracy Turnblad is a big girl with big hair, and an even bigger heart. She sets out on a journey to get herself a role dancing on a national TV programme.

The schoolgirl quickly becomes a famous and widely popular figure within her local community.

She uses this position to promote racial equality and get a group of black dancers with whom she befriends, onto the show more often than a day a month allocated for negro day.

Photo Credit: Mark Senior

An X Factor finalist in 2005, Brenda Edwards wowed the audience with a show-stopping version of gospel song I Know Where I’ve Been.

Her dynamite voice brought people to their feet.

Despite the significance of the core theme emphasised by moments such as above, comedic value was aplenty with a tinge of romance thrown in, too.

Male actor Alex Bourne did a wonderful job playing Tracy’s mother, Alex Bourne, and shared a funny but touching scene with Norman Pace playing father Wilbur, while reiterating their love for each other.

Although I have seen the show previously, songs such as Good Morning Baltimore and Welcome to the 60’s never fail to draw a smile.

Hairspray has moved on to continue its tour of the country, but you can find out what else is on at Woking’s New Victoria Theatre here.

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India revises Covid-19 guidelines for international arrivals amid Omicron fears

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Union Health Ministry revised guidelines for international arrivals in India on Sunday to be effective from December 1 amid the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant termed Omicron. The revised guidelines mandate submitting 14 days’ travel details and uploading a negative RT-PCR test report on the Air Suvidha portal before the journey.

All travelers will need to submit a self-declaration form before the scheduled travel under the new guidelines, including details of the last 14 days of travel. Travelers will also need to upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report 72 hours before undertaking any journey.

“The existing guidelines have been revised in view of reporting of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.1.529; named Omicron) which has been now classified as Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization,” the Health Ministry said.

Passengers coming from ‘at-risk’ countries will have to undergo RT-PCR testing on arrival in India now.

If tested negative, they’ll follow home quarantine for seven days. Re-test will take place on the 8th day, which if negative, further self-monitoring will happen for next seven days.

A sub-section (5% of total flight passengers) will undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival.

The Health Ministry has classified countries in Europe, including UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel as ‘at-risk’.

Earlier today, the central government said it would review the resumption of scheduled international commercial flights.

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Follow Covid-appropriate behaviour to avoid lockdown: Maharashtra CM

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that in order to avoid another coronavirus-induced lockdown in the state, people must follow COVID-appropriate behaviour, and asked the authorities to take necessary steps to protect citizens from the new Omicron variant of the virus without waiting for the Centre’s directives.


He was speaking during a virtual meeting with divisional commissioners and district collectors held to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the state and the precautionary measures that need to be taken in view of the Omicron variant detected in South Africa.





“Do whatever is needed to prevent the new deadly variant of COVID-19. Get started without waiting for central government’s directives,” Thackeray asked the officials.


“Citizens need to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour to prevent another lockdown in the state,” he said.


During the meeting, Thackeray also asked the authorities to keep a vigil on all travellers landing at the state airports, the chief minister’s office (CMO) said in a statement.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Sunday’s Fur-Cast (11/28/21) | WETM

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — A press conference is to be held on Monday, Nov. 29, to discuss the county’s continued battle with COVID-19.

Chemung County Executive Chris Moss and Public Health Director Pete Buzzetti will be holding the conference at noon to address county residents the update.

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