Michael Ball Extends Run in London Hairspray; New Cast Members to Join in October

News   Michael Ball Extends Run in London Hairspray; New Cast Members to Join in October
Michael Ball, who won the 2008 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Edna Turnblad in the original West End company of the Broadway hit Hairspray, has extended his contract by a further six months, and will now stay in the role through Apr. 25, 2009, the longest continuous contract that Ball has ever performed.
Hairspray's Michael Ball
Hairspray's Michael Ball Photo by Catherine Ashmore

In a press statement Ball stated, "I am so happy that the divine Mrs. Edna Turnblad is going to continue to be a big part of my world for another six months. Hairspray has without doubt been one of the happiest and most fulfilling experiences of my professional life. And I am delighted to carry on being part of this phenomenon."

Adam Spiegel, from UK producers Stage Entertainment, added, "I am absolutely delighted that Michael and many others in the cast have decided to stay with the production. Hairspray is the happiest show in London, both on stage and behind the scenes, and knowing we have Michael leading us into our second year is a dream come true. That he's doing so in a dress is simply a bonus!"

Newly joining the cast Oct. 27 will be Liz Robertson, Zoe Rainey and Raquel Jones as Velma Von Tussle, Velma's daughter Amber Von Tussle and Little Inez, respectively.

Robertson, who succeeds Tracie Bennett, played Eliza Doolittle in Cameron Mackintosh's 1979 revival of My Fair Lady at the Adelphi. Other West End credits include the original London runs of A Little Night Music, I Love My Wife and The Mitford Girls, and taking over as Madame Giry in The Phantom of the Opera. On Broadway, she has appeared in the short-lived runs of Dance a Little Closer and the revue Kern Goes to Hollywood. Rainey succeeds Rachel Wooding, and 16-year-old newcomer Jones succeeds Natalie Best.

Continuing in the show are Olivier Award winner Leanne Jones as Tracy Turnblad, Ben James-Ellis as Link Larkin, Ian Talbot as Wilbur Turnblad, Elinor Collett as Penny Pingleton, Adrian Hansel as Seaweed, Johnnie Fiori as Motormouth Maybelle and Paul Manuel as Corny Collins. Hairspray first opened in London in October 2007 and recouped its entire £3.5 million capitalization in its first 29 weeks; it has now also sold its 500,000th ticket.

To book tickets contact the box office at 020 7359 5399 or visit www.hairspraythemusical.com.

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