In our latest Whatsonstage.com Radio podcast, Roger Foss meets Michael Ball, currently starring as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre, who talks about the challenge and the joy of cross-dressing as big-hearted Edna - and reveals the emotional trauma of losing one husband (Wilbur, as played by Mel Smith) but gaining another (Ian Talbot).
After a year of success in 2007 - which apart from his critically acclaimed, Whatsonstage.com Award-nominated performance in Hairspray included a ground-breaking Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, starring in the English National Opera's controversial production of Kismet, a concert tour and the release of his Back to Bacharach CD - what will 2008 bring for Michael Ball? A new project will be announced soon, but he's not saying too much just yet.
In this year’s Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, Ball (who presented at the Awards launch in December) is in the running for Best Actor in a Musical, as part of Hairspray’s ten overall nominations, including additional nods for Leanne Jones, Ben James-Ellis, Tracie Bennett, director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell as well as Best New Musical (click here to vote!).
Ball is currently contracted to appear in the musical until 25 October 2008. He’s on holiday during the following weeks: 28 April to 3 May, 30 June to 5 July, and 15 to 20 September. And, from 28 April, he will no longer perform on Monday evenings.
Thanks for listening!