The Donmar Warehouse has expanded its annual Divas at the Donmar season with two special events - a late night cabaret with Clive Rowe and a masterclass with Michael Ball. The season, which runs this year from 3 to 29 September 2001, has become an annual fixture, offering a succession of three cabaret shows from established stage stars.

Interestingly, the 2001 Divas features two men - Clive Rowe, returning after his first solo turn as part of last year's event, and West End veteran Michael Ball - joined by Sian Phillips. Rowe, who kicked off the season this week, has added a special late night performance to his schedule for tonight, 7 September. Rowe is familiar for his musical appearances in Guys and Dolls (for which he won a 1997 Olivier as Nicely Nicely Johnson), Candide, Carousel, Company, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and, most recently Chicago.

Sarah Hunt, marketing director of the Donmar, told Whatsonstage.com that the reason for the late night addition to Rowe's programme is due to the singer's enormous popularity within the theatre world itself. "Clive is so well loved and respected in the industry, and people who are perhaps appearing in shows themselves felt they were missing out on seeing him," she said. The 11.00pm start for the late night show will allow many other performers and backstage staff to attend.

Michael Ball has achieved international recognition as both a recording artist and a performer. In addition to his renowned West End starring roles in Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love and Passion, Ball also represented Great Britain in the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest.

In his Masterclass, held at 4.00pm on Friday 28 September, Ball will work with six promising young singers, helping them to develop their skills and explore performance style. The students, six boys and six girls who have auditioned for the honour, come from prestigious performing arts schools including the Royal School of Music and the Guildhall School. Theatregoers can attend to see Ball put the students through their paces (all tickets £5).

Ball's regular cabaret also runs at the Donmar from 17 to 29 September, while Sian Phillips performs from 10 to 15 September. Phillips' credits include Pal Joey, A Little Night Music and her own tribute to Marlene Dietrich.

2001 marks the fourth year of the Divas at the Donmar season. Previous divas have included Barbara Cook, Betty Buckley, Audra MacDonald, Patti LuPone, Imelda Staunton and singer-songwriter sisters Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway. Divas at the Donmar is sponsored by Autograph Sound Recordings.

- by Terri Paddock


For book tickets for the Masterclass or Late Night with Clive Rowe, call the Donmar box office on 0870 442 1352. Or, for more information on the Clive Rowe cabaret offer, click here.