Michael Ball will play Edna Turnblad in the West End incarnation of “Hairspray.”
Brit thesp, seen on Broadway in “Aspects of Love” and “The Woman in White,” will step into the matronly role for which Harvey Fierstein won a 2003 Tony in the original Rialto incarnation. John Travolta plays the part — the mother of a zaftig teenybopper — in the upcoming movie version of the tuner.
London production of “Hairspray” begins previews Oct. 11 for an Oct. 30 opening at the Shaftesbury Theater.
The Stateside version of “Hairspray,” which has been on the boards since 2002, got a recent boost in grosses in part from the addition of Jerry Mathers (“Leave it to Beaver”) to the cast June 5. For the week ended June 10, grosses went up $95,000 to $663,058, and attendance was at 90% of capacity.
The Gotham production could see another bump later this summer, when the New Line movie version bows July 20.