Michael Ball at the Ipswich Regent

~ EADT- by Ben Akers- 16/06/2011 ~

IPSWICH REGENT: What became immediately obvious at the Ipswich Regent last night, was that Michael Ball's appeal stretches further than I thought it possibly could.

Young and old, male and female all sat in awe of a voice that filled the theatre with an incredible amount of charm, warmth and adorable dimples.

Of course everyone knows Michael Ball can sing. From his early Les Miserables days to his recent run of Hairspray, he has lit up West End stages and Royal Variety Performances for two decades now. But what people might not know is that Michael Ball can really, really, really sing! It's awkward for a thirty year old man to get goose bumps when listening to another man perform “When Will I Hold You Again,” but by the end of the evening I couldn't really hide them.

The first half was a mixture of modern hits including A Glee tribute that the cast of Glee really should pay attention to and a brilliant medley of New York themed songs. Both perfectly presented by Michael and his five backing singers.

Despite the great first half, the second half's performance of I Dreamed a Dream, was probably the highlight of the evening but then any show tune in Michael Ball's hands is going to be well looked after. “No one sings show tunes like Michael” audience member Judy Whademan declared.

After a much deserved encore of three songs, including Love Changes Everything, there was very little to say as all the adjectives to describe how brilliant it had been used up. But the evening really was…brilliant.

A sell-out crowd, a brilliant (see there it is again) band and a world class entertainer always makes for a great night at the theatre. Add to this the incredible charisma Michael has on stage and the obvious appreciation he shows for his audience, the whole evening went by far too quickly and I left feeling as if I'd been given a lovely big cuddle.

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