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Hairspray - Cardiff - 8 April 2010
04/09/10 @ 04:05:05 am, Categories: General, 616 words   English (US)

At long last we are back in the UK. After a day and a half in London (if you can, do go and see Hair at the Gielgud! Amazing, simply amazing.) we travelled to Cardiff (by train, fast and convenient, German trains could learn a lot from the UK). All dry and bright here, a nice change. Spring has sprung.

We managed to find the millennium Centre just in time to see Mr Ball arriving. Well, one saw, the conversation went like this:

Julia: There he is!
Kerstin: who?
Julia: HE!
Kerstin: WHO? (dear me)
Julia: (now whispering, as we were getting closer) he! there!

Dear me, whom have we been following around the UK? Whom have we dedicated a whole huge website too? Exactly! But, Phew! some undignified rushing, but hey, that’s what we do. He seemed happy and relaxed and was looking goergeous (photos and videos to follow). The “stage door” is indoors (now a tiny part of us is actually hoping for a little rain), a unique experience. After this first excitement (and I am not talking about getting off the bus one station too early, about trying to check in to the wrong hotel, about finding
out we are actually staying a bus ride away AND will move hotel EVERY day - what HAVE we been thinking when booking all those months ago?!) we tried to get last minute tickets. Nothing to be done of course. we only managed to get decent ones for the Sunday matinee when they went on sale originally. BUT they sell standing tickets. So that is what we will be doing for the next few shows. We could even store our luggage there for free. It’s a great place!

So the moment was there: Our first Hairspray after a long, long wait.

The sets have changed (as they originated from different productions) but not ramatically. A fresh lick of paint if you will. Just enough to recognise it’s something new but feel like coming home at the same time. A few new dresses here and there, too. The new cast is really enthusiastic and so talented! Where do they find all this talent? Naturally it is quite a difference to be used to old pros who have been with the procution for months and months and now watching the ensemble testing new things, getting to know their characters
better. It feels like a new show sometimes, because it’s all back to the beginning (the add libbing will come with time and confidence). So it has a very fresh feeling to it. New Velma, Ines and Wilbur stick out particularlly. Naturally the leads are really good. It was wonderful to see and hear Sandra as Motormouth again.

Now, Edna. What can we say? It was such a joy having her back and the new finale dress is just incredibly beautiful. A lot more in style of the Welcome to the 60s dress with feathers and very light material (she can show some leg), simply stunning. It’s so good to have her back!

The audience in both shows was … Welsh. Meaning really going for it, all cheering, big standing ovation and the end of the show, just the reaction we always want for everyone up on stage. That’s why we always try to do Cardiff when he tours.

Michael also mentioned his family from Mountain Ash will be in at the weekend ("Mountain Ash will be empty!"), so this will be fun!

Stage doors are very busy (as it is on the way to a car park, Café and lift) but he did come out between shows, so many people had their chance to get a photo or autograph.


On the road with Michael Ball.
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