Wednesday, November 24

Michael Ball on producing Love Story the Musical

Michael Ball is a very busy man at the moment as he is currently appearing in the touring production of Hairspray, there is another series of his Radio 2 show on the horizon as well as a new television series of the Michael Ball Show. He has a new album to record and his Heroes solo concert tour to plan. 

And on top of all that he is one of the producers of the new musical Love Story which starts previews at the Duchess Theatre in London’s West End on 27th November (0pening night 6th December) having transferred in from the Chichester Festival Theatre. 

Michael took his mum and long-term partner Cathy McGowan to see the production in Chichester, “purely out of interest” because he lives nearby and because Emma Williams who is playing the female lead was his former co-star in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The show made an impression. “I was simply knocked out,” he says. “I thought it was beautiful.”

Love Story’s existing producers Stephen Waley-Cohen and Adam Spiegel were already considering taking the musical into London, so when Ball rang Spiegel (who he worked  with on Hairspray in the West End)  to express his enthusiasm for the show the producer seized the opportunity. Ball said: “It just seemed the right thing to do at the right time, and one of those things that happened so organically, not planned, not contrived. It’s one of those things that absolutely feel like they are meant to be.”

Ball is fully involved in producing duties: “I think it was very helpful for them to have somebody who is coming into it absolutely fresh, seeing it for the first time in the theatre having not gone through workshops and different permutations,” he says. He has also taken on the marketing side of things, advising on the poster design and creating press opportunities.

The hardest thing about his transition from performer to producer will probably be sitting in the audience on opening night and not be able to do anything to influence the evening. “You just have to sit and hope.”

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