Michael Ball to kick off UK Tour of Hairspray

~ 10/08/09 ~

West End star Michael Ball, who won an Olivier Award for his performance as Edna Turnblad in the London production of Hairspray , will play that same role in the upcoming tour of the Tony-winning musical that will be seen in the U.K. and Ireland next year.

The Hairspray tour will kick off March 30, 2010, at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Ball will also play Turnblad for audiences at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow, the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton and the Manchester Palace.

Further star casting for other venues will be announced shortly.

The upcoming tour also marks the first stage of a new working relationship between Ball and producers, Stage Entertainment.  This will involve "developing new work and roles both onstage and in a production capacity for Michael in the future. Plans include a major musical revival in 2011," according to a press statement.

About the Hairspray tour, Ball said in a statement, "I knew when I originally took on the part of Edna that she was going to be a big part of my life, in every way, but I never realised just how big. Hairspray is truly one of the greatest experiences of my career and the chance to have just a few more nights in those frocks was an opportunity I couldn't miss! With so much on I'm unable to do all dates but I promise that we'll have some brilliant performers lined up for our UK tour. Moving forward, to now be working as an Associate Producer with Stage Entertainment developing new shows, new roles and new opportunities in the future is an honour, and something I can't wait to get stuck in to."

Producer Adam Spiegel added, "We are over the moon that Michael has agreed to launch the Hairspray tour for us. The show has been a huge success in London, not to mention around the world, and Michael has been a big, big part of the Hairspray story so far. It's doubly exciting that not only do more people around the UK now get to see his gorgeous Edna Turnblad, but we as a company get to work with Michael more closely than ever behind the scenes as we develop new work together."

"It's 1962, the 50s are out and change is in the air," according to Hairspray press notes. "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 the local 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 Mom 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, all without denting her ‘do?  If anyone can, Tracy can!"

Current tour dates follow:

*March 30-April 24, 2010 at the Cardiff Millenium Centre
*April 27-May 8 at the Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
*May 11-29 at the Southampton Mayflower
June 1-19 at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
June 22-July 3 at the Leeds Grand Theatre
*July 13-31 at the Manchester Palace Theatre
Aug. 17-Sept. 4 at the Liverpool Empire Theatre
(*-Ball will play these dates).

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