West End star meets talented kids

Michael Ball was left “overwhelmed” by the talent of Suffolk youngsters.The singing heartthrob visited Kesgrave yesterday to officially open the Emma Dodd School of Performing Arts.

SUFFOLK: Michael Ball was left “overwhelmed” by the talent of Suffolk youngsters.

The singing heartthrob visited Kesgrave yesterday to officially open the Emma Dodd School of Performing Arts.

Michael is currently on a UK tour after taking a break from playing larger-than-life Edna Turnblad in the West End production of Hairspray.

To mark the occasion, talented pupils from the school - run by West End Suffolk starlet Emma Dodd - gave a short performance from their forthcoming production of Hairspray.

After the show, Michael said: “I didn't know what to expect today and I must say I have been bowled over by the talent in Suffolk.

“It is a testament to the drive and determination of these children that they have reached such a standard in such little time. They were fantastic. I am overwhelmed.”

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Emma, 31, from Dryden Road, Ipswich, is currently in the Shaftesbury's Theatre production of Hairspray, but is due to finish later this month to concentrate on her own theatre school.

“It has been the biggest dream of mine for years and years to run my own theatre school and I can hardly believe it is coming true,” said Emma, who has also starred in the West End's Evita, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Starlight Express.

For details of the Emma Dodd School of Performing Arts visit www.emmadodd.com.

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