Michael Ball on Love Story

Singer Michael Ball has switched horses in his latest stage production. Rather than taking a lead role - as he has done in Les Mis, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and so many West End shows - he's produced a stage version of Love Story.

Michael saw the production in his home city Chichester, fell in love with it, and jumped at the chance to help bring it to the West End. How does it feel to take on such a contrasting role?

"It's peculiar, it's brilliant, I've loved doing it, but it was the strangest opening night I have ever attended. I think it was more nerve-racking because I couldn't do anything but hope that the critics and the audience would enjoy it, and luckily they did."

The story, originally a book by Erich Segal, and then a film, has become one of the most well-known tragic love stories of all time. The film's theme music `Where do I begin' was an instant hit - but was it possible to make a show without using it? Michael Ball told Anne-Marie Minhall that the score, written by Howard Goodall, was an act of genius.

"Howard didn't need to use it, but I think he was aware that it would be the elephant in the room if he hadn't. But because Jenny (the lead character) is a classical pianist there's this brilliant scene where she sits at a piano to give a major recital and she starts playing that melody. And you can hear the audience thinking - they're going to use it. And then he's written this counter melody for the Oliver Barrett character to sing - it's an acknowledgement of the 1970s music but then puts it to rest."

Listen to the interview with Michael Ball now

Love Story, produced by Michael Ball and with music by Howard Goodall, is on at the Duchess Theatre in London.