Friday, July 16

Michael Ball’s Love Story

Michael Ball has already dipped his toe into the water on the theatre production side being involved in artistic discussions with the West End production and tour of Hairspray, but he is now acting as a bona fide producer by bringing Chichester’s production of Love Story to the West End at a personal cost of something in the region of £250,000 with the total cost of mounting the production around £1M.

He saw the show at Chichester's Minerva Theatre and contacted Adam Spiegel, who was producing Love Story with Stephen Waley-Cohen, suggesting it should transfer into the West End.

Love Story's two leads, Emma Williams and Michael Xavier won rave reviews for their performances and will reprise their roles when the show comes into London’s West End in late November at a theatre to be announced. Ball worked with Miss Williams on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and she has also performed with him on one of his concert tours.

Ball said he also has plans to work with Spiegel on other shows as well as other projects with Stage Entertainment who are behind Hairspray and Sister Act.

He is currently sharing the role of Edna Turnblad in the Hairspray tour with Brian Conley and Michael Starke and will be taking a break shortly to present his own daytime TV chat show which begins a six-week run on 16th August.

Plans for next year include a concert tour, new album in the spring and in the autumn he will star opposite Imelda Staunton in Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd which Jonathan Kent will direct at Chichester.

There had been rumours of him playing Barnum in Shrek the Musical when the revamped version comes into the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London next year, but because of his schedule was not able to do it.

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