Ball to lead UK tour of Hairspray in 2010
~ The Stage - 10/08/09 ~
Michael Ball will lead the cast of the new touring version of West End musical Hairspray, the show's producers have announced.
Michael Ball, pictured here performing at the Shaftesbury, will lead the cast of the Hairspray tour next year Photo: Tristram Kenton
A new production of the show - in addition to the London stage version at the Shaftesbury Theatre - will tour the UK from April 7, 2010, when it will open at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, before visiting Glasgow, Southampton and Manchester. Ball will appear as Edna Turnblad at these venues with further star casting for future tour dates expected to be announced shortly.
The tour also marks the first stage of a “closer working relationship” between Ball and producer Stage Entertainment. This will involve developing new work and roles both onstage and in a production capacity for Ball in the future, including a major, but as yet unnamed, musical revival in 2011.
Ball said: “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.”
Hairspray's West End staging at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London recouped its capitalisation in 29 weeks. The show opened in October 2007 and won Best Musical at the 2008 Olivier Awards, as well as Best Actor in a Musical for Ball. It is now booking at the Shaftesbury until October 2010.