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Michael Ball to pen first novel about fictional theatre

The book will be the first in a series

Michael Ball
© Joel Anderson

From stage to page!

Michael Ball will pen his first fiction novel, titled The Empire. Set in a scandalous 1920s northern theatre, the book will be released in October 2022. It is intended to be the first in a series that charts the "high notes and low notes of British musical theatre in all its glamour, greasepaint and glory".

Ball said today: "In my opinion, nothing beats the magic of the theatre and, my goodness we've missed it! And so I wanted to try and capture that magic on the page, through the fictional lives of a cast of characters whose world revolves around this wonderful theatre, The Empire. Performing and bringing joy to people is what I love more than anything and to think that I might be able to bring that to a different audience is truly exhilarating.

"I am thrilled to be working with the team at Zaffre and we are having so much fun. These novels are going to be a love letter to all the theatres and performers I've worked in and with around the world."

The Empire is described as: "Set in the early 1920s, The Empire tells the story of a fictional theatre of the same name in the north of England. Known as ‘the jewel of the north', it's a palace of dreams which holds a very special place in the nation's heart. But it's not all bright lights and encores and the actors are not the only ones donning a disguise...For there is treachery at the heart of The Empire Theatre and a dark secret waiting in the wings . . ."

It will be available from 13 October 2022.

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