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Musical theatre legend Michael Ball to narrate The Empire

Zaffre, the flagship adult fiction imprint of Bonnier Books UK, has today announced that West End star Michael Ball will narrate the audiobook edition of his much-anticipated debut novel, The Empire.

On his experience of recording his first audiobook Michael Ball said: “My favourite thing about writing this book has been creating the cast of characters that keep the theatre running. So, being able to bring them to life and have fun with their voices has been wonderful. I can’t wait for audiobook listeners to meet them.”

Laura Makela, managing editor – Audio at Bonnier Books UK, added: “Michael is a dream author for us in the audio team. Not only has he written a fantastic book full of wildly enjoyable characters, but it has been amazing to collaborate with an author as involved and considered in their approach to the audio edition as Michael has been. This, coupled with his incredible talents as a performer, meant The Empire always promised to be a truly special audiobook. It has been a privilege to work with Michael and witness him bring the world of his debut novel to life exactly as he imagined when writing it. The end result is all we could ever hope for and more.”

Set in 1922, The Empire tells the story of the actors, owners and backstage staff that work at The Empire Theatre – a palace of dreams known as ‘the jewel of the north’. But it’s not all glitz and glamour. When long-held rivalries threaten The Empire’s future, tensions rise along with the curtain. For there is treachery at the heart of the theatre and a shocking secret waiting in the wings…

Michael Ball OBE is a singer, actor, presenter and now author. He’s been a star of musical theatre for over three decades, winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical twice, he’s also won two BRIT awards and been nominated for a Grammy. Michael regularly sells out both his solo tours and his Ball & Boe shows with Alfie Boe, and has multiple platinum albums. 

The Empire by Michael Ball publishes 13th October 2022, in the UK, Ireland and Australia, in hardback, eBook, and audio and is available to pre-order here.