Story by Lizzie Guilfoyle
DUE TO a particularly virulent form of 'flu', Michael Crawford
has been forced to temporarily withdraw from his role of Count
Fosco, in Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest production, The
Woman in White, at London's Palace Theatre.
From February 21, 2005, Michael Ball will take over the role
currently being covered by understudy, Steve Varnom.
Ball is, of course, no stranger to musical theatre, having appeared
in The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Aspects of Love
and Stephen Sondheim's Passion, in which, incidentally,
he starred alongside Maria Friedman.
More recently, he was the original
Caractacus Potts in the stage version of Chitty Chitty Bang
Bang at the London Palladium and only last year, staged his
own show, Singular Sensations, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
It's hoped that Crawford will return to the role after Easter,
on April 4, 2005 - subject to doctor's approval.
The Woman in White which is loosely based on Wilkie
Collins' Victorian novel, first published in 1869, marked Crawford's
return to the West End stage after an absence of 18 years.
That was, of course, in The Phantom of the Opera. Even
now, he is considered, by many, to be the definitive Phantom.