Michael Ball
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Honorary Doctorate
Michael Ball - Doctorate of Arts

Michael Ball moved to Dartmoor with his parents when he was aged just three and spent his childhood years in the South West, where he went on to attend Plymouth College. Michael was interested in the theatre from an early age and studied drama at Guildford School of Acting. He graduated in 1984, and his singing career took off with his first part in Godspell at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. 

Michael’s first major break was a leading role in the production of The Pirates of Penzance at Manchester Opera House. Cameron Mackintosh then cast him as Marius in the original London production of Les Misérables, and he went on to star in The Phantom of the Opera in London; Aspects of Love, in the West End and Broadway; and in the London production of Stephen Sondheim's Passion. Roles followed in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and on Broadway in The Woman in White, before he made his New York City Opera debut in 2005 as Reginald Bunthorne in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience, and two years later, as Haji/Poet in Kismet, performed with the English National Opera. Michael also reprised his role of Marius at the tenth anniversary concert Les Misérables: The Dream Cast in Concert, in 1995, and the role of Valjean at a special concert performance of Les Misérables for The Queen and her guests at Windsor Castle in 2004. In 2007, he made his BBC Proms debut with ‘An Evening with Michael Ball’ at the Royal Albert Hall, the first time a musical theatre star had been given a solo concert at The Proms.

Michael’s work has garnered numerous accolades including both the Laurence Olivier Award and the Theatregoers Choice Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray in 2008, and a second Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for Sweeney Todd this year. His discography is extensive, both in terms of albums and concert DVDs, and he’s also enjoyed a successful career in radio, with Ball over Broadway on BBC Radio 2, and his new show, Michael Ball on Sunday.