Michael will be starring in Chess at the London Coliseum from 26th April until 2nd June 2018.
‘It’s one of the greatest scores ever written!’ said Ball, who will play Anatoly, the Russian chess champion in the show created by Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice.
The production, with a 48-piece orchestra, also stars Alexandra Burke as Svetlana, Tim Howar as Freddie and Cassidy Janson as Florence. The original Freddie, Murray Head, is the Arbiter.
It is set against post-war intrigue between the U.S. and USSR. ‘People forget what the Cold War was about – lots of betrayal,’ said Ball, who has just returned from a concert tour of Japan.
He remembers Chess running at the Prince Edward Theatre. ‘I never got to see it because I was in Les Miserable at the Palace, but I raced out to get the concept album,’ he said.
Ball’s working on a new solo album. ‘I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for songs that evoke the Seventies,’ he said, adding that he’s talking to songwriter Jimmy Webb.
He’d like another long West End run. ‘I’d love to do La Cage Aux Folles – I do rock in a frock,’ he said. ‘And revisit Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. I loved every single thing about that show.’