Thursday, February 10

Michael Crawford on his “Balloon Problems” as The Wizard of Oz

The Mystery Guest on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 this morning was Michael Crawford who is currently appearing in London's West End as the Wizard of Oz.

Chris had to do an off the cuff interview over the telephone which lasted for three minutes.  He managed to find out that Crawford  had been in New Zealand for the past  4 years to recuperate from a debilitating illness which meant  he couldn’t stay awake after 4:00 pm in the afternoon! It was the right thing to do because NZ is so peaceful he stared to relax, and with the new stress free lifestyle and the help of his grandchildren he made a steady recovery.

Andrew Lloyd Webber called him just as he was boarding a train to Bruges which was the start of journey  eventually ending up in Sicily with his family. He said he thought about the offer for 4 weeks and felt so refreshed after spending time with his grandchildren decided it was good idea as the Wizard is not a massive role. (Crawford modestly says he’s one of most unimportant people in the show!)  I saw him earlier this week at the Palladium and think he is marvellous in the role.

Chris Evans asked him if anything has gone wrong in the previews which started at the beginning of this week. Crawford said he has an interesting exit in a balloon which has caused some problems.  One night a bit fell off it narrowly missing people on the stage (luckily they saw it coming and scattered), and last night he pushed it in wrong direction and crashed into the set.

Hopefully Crawford will be fully in control of his balloon when The Wizard of Oz has its opening night at the London Palladium on 1st March

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