Michael Ball at the Ipswich Regent

WHEN I last saw Michael Ball he was wearing a floral dress and a rather fetching shade of pink lipstick.

WHEN I last saw Michael Ball he was wearing a floral dress and a rather fetching shade of pink lipstick.

Sadly I don't have any great exclusive to reveal. Ball has spent the last few years playing larger-than-life Edna Turnblad in the West End's Hairspray.

But - for now - he's back on tour, dressed in a sharp black suit and various sparkly tie, and doing what he does best.

This was a concert of surprises. Of course, he performed his usual musical favourites like Empty Chairs At Empty Tables from Les Miserables and Love Changes Everything from Aspects of Love. There would have been a gentle uprising amongst the audience if he didn't do his fair share of classics.

However there was a twist - and it wasn't all easy viewing,especially with snippets of 'dad dancing'. He kick started the evening with the Kiss rock anthem I Was Made For Lovin' You, followed by The Killer's hit Human and added to the mix the odd bit of Queen and Duffy.

While the more-refined members of the audience were perhaps a little lost with this modern frenzy, his slightly uncomfortable hip thrusts and gyrations soon got the ladies-of-a-certain-age back on board.

Most Read

There is little doubt that Ball's talent lies within musical theatre and he was at his most comfortable here. One performance of note was a medley of hits from Jesus Christ SuperStar.

Joined by a quintet of highly talented backing singers fresh from the West End, he also performed hits from Starlight Express, Blood Brothers and Hairspray, before drawing the concert to a close with a roof-raising The Impossible Dream.

Last night he proved with ease that the voice of Ball is arguable still the best in musical theatre.

Kate McGrath

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter