Michael Ball to temporarily take over in the role of Count Fosco in The Woman in White from 22 Feb 2005, or maybe earlier


Michael Ball is to temporarily take over in the role of 'Count Fosco' in The Woman in White , from 22 Feb 2005 at the Palace Theatre, although it is anticipated that he may be able to join the show earlier!

Michael Ball takes over from Michael Crawford who has been missing a number of performances due to an acute ‘flu’ virus . However, if recovered, Michael Crawford is expected to return to the role in April 2005, and will then play the role until the end May 2005. In the meantime understudy Steve Varnom is expected to play the role until Michael Ball joins the show

Michael Ball says "I am delighted to have been offered this opportunity. Stepping into the great Michael Crawford’s shoes represents an enormous challenge and I am thrilled to be working once again with Maria".

The rest of the cast remain unchanged Maria Friedman (Marian) Martin Crewes (Walter Hartwright), Angela Christian (Anne Catherick - 'the Woman in White') , Oliver Darley (Sir Percival Glyde), Jill Paice (Laura Fairlie') and Edward Petherbridge (Mr Fairlie).

The show opened at the Palace Theatre 15 Sep 2004, following previews from 28 Aug, to moderate notices from the popular press: MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Andrew Lloyd Webber's best score in years and Trevor Nunn's visually vibrant production can disguise the fact that this show is saddled with an impossible book." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "A terrible disappointment.....Yes, there are moments when Lloyd Webber comes up with the big lush romantic melodies that are his forte, though these days they tend to sound alarmingly like retreads of his own earlier work." PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, " Fluent production....I suspect The Woman In White will be haunting the West End for some time to come." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "So old-fashioned it deserves to be stuffed and displayed in a museum for deceased musicals... I came out humming with boredom."

This new musical is freely adapted by Charlotte Jones from Wilkie Collins's Victorian thriller. It has lyrics by David Zippel and score by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

It is directed by Trevor Nunn, designed by William Dudley, with lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by Mick Potter. Dance and movement will be by Wayne McGregor and Simon Lee is the musical supervisor

A dashing young man, employed as the art tutor to two devoted sisters, is stranded at a remote railway cutting. Out of the darkness looms a woman, a mysterious figure dressed in white, desperate to share a chilling secret. He and the sisters soon find themselves trapped in a web of betrayal and greed, the victims of a seemingly flawless crime. As the plot twists and turns, low villainy vies with high romance in a world where nothing is as it first appears and where it is impossible to know who to trust.

Looking for the best seats...