Tuesday 20 March 2018

I would cast Ed Balls 'in a heartbeat', says West End theatre producer

Ed Balls is taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing live tour
Ed Balls is taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing live tour

Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls could transfer his Strictly Come Dancing success into a West End show, the theatre producer behind Harry Potter And The Cursed Child has said.

The ex-Labour MP and partner Katya Jones became fan favourites on the BBC One show, with their animated dance moves and inventive choreography taking them to week 10 of the competition.

During his appearance on the show, Balls was lauded by former political colleagues and opponents and is currently taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing live tour.

Now Sonia Friedman, award-winning theatre producer behind hit West End shows including Dreamgirls and Bend It Like Beckham, said she would cast Balls "in a heartbeat".

She told Radio Times magazine: "I was hooked on Strictly. I think he was everything this country needed right now: a bit of levity, not taking yourself too seriously.

"He put joy back into our culture for a few weeks and he made politicians seem real to me."

Asked if he could star in his own production, Friedman joked: "Ed Balls: The Musical is going to be the headline."

She added: "Look, I think he should go back into politics because that's where we need him.

"But all I'm saying is, if I was doing the sort of show where there was something for Ed Balls to do, I wouldn't hesitate.

"I adored his spirit. I even voted for him (on Strictly) and I've never voted in my life before."

:: Radio Times is on sale on Tuesday.

Press Association

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