Michael Out On The Town

~ Wales Online - 15/04/10 by Gary Marsh ~

WEST End star Michael is having a Ball in Cardiff – dressed up as a woman!

Adopted Welshman Michael Ball is going down a storm at the Wales Millennium Centre in the over-the-top role of roly-poly Edna Turnblad in the hit musical Hairspray.

With his mother Ruth coming from Mountain Ash, Michael has always had a huge following in the Cynon Valley.

But nobody could ever have anticipated the success of this sell-out show.

“I performed at the opening the Wales Millennium Centre in front of the Queen, so it is great to be back,” said Michael, 48.

“A lot of my career highlights have taken place outside Wales of course.

“And a lot of them have happened in the last two years like getting my own prom at the Royal Albert Hall while I was rehearsing Hairspray.

“And getting the Olivier award for Hairspray was just massive.”

Michael has reprised his West End role of housewife Edna to take the show on tour around the UK, stopping off in Cardiff Bay.

“The last few years have been the most successful and enjoyable of my whole life, personally and professionally,” he said.

“I don't want to sound smug or anything, but every career goes through ups and downs and that helps you to appreciate it when things go well.

“As you get older you learn to appreciate it because by then you have seen people come and go, but in this business you know it won't last forever, so you just enjoy it.”

Starring alongside Michael in Hairpsray as long-suffering husband Wilbur is comedian Les Dennis.

But what is on the horizon for Michael after Hairspray?

“There are other shows I would like to be involved with on the production and directing side,” he said.

“I feel like I have learned so much and want to pass it on.

“I'm enjoying working with the kids from Hairspray. This is my first time producing a show and I'm really enjoying it.”

Hairspray, starring Michael Ball and Les Dennis, runs at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay, until April 24.

For limited tickets call the box office on 029 2063 6464.

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