Michael Ball brings Hairspray to Cardiff

~ Wales Online - 10/08/09 ~

MICHAEL Ball has revealed that he will be bringing the hit musical Hairspray to Cardiff next year.

It will mark Ball's first venture behind the velvet curtain, as he is set to produce the tour.

The actor won the 2008 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as super-sized Edna Turnblad in the hit West End production of Hairspray.

But even though he has now finished his run in the West End show, he told the Echo he was keen to return to the role when it comes to the Wales Millennium Centre.

Ball, whose family comes from Mountain Ash, said: “I will be taking Hairspray on tour and it will open in Cardiff.

“I'll be starring in some of the shows, when I can fit it in, but I will definitely be doing it in Cardiff.

“Cardiff couldn't be a better venue to start the tour either.

“The theatre itself is stunning but Cardiff is just really vibey at the moment with all the TV and film production, mostly through Doctor Who, but there's lots of other things too.

“People are talking about Cardiff all over Britain and for people who know the city it is really changing with sensible investment and development.

“I didn't tell the show's other producers they had to open it there but I did suggest they think about it.”

As well as a coup for the city, the touring production of Hairspray will also mark Ball's first venture into theatrical production.

He has previously been the marquee name on the front of house, rather than the man behind the scenes.

“I'll be producing a show for the first time and I'm really excited about that,” he said. “I feel like I have learned so much in my career and as you get older you want to pass it on.

“I'm hoping it will be a new and ongoing venture for me as producer and leading man and there are other shows I would like to be involved with on the production and directing side.

“I have really enjoyed working with the younger cast from Hairspray and helping them grow a bit.”

Ball will be performing in Cardiff when he brings his Past And Present tour to Cardiff International Arena on October 8.

He will perform his favourite songs from the many hit musicals he has starred in, including Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Kismet and Aspects Of Love.


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