THE EMPIRE By Michael Ball @ZaffreBooks @mrmichaelball @rararesources. #TheEmpire #BlogTour

Available now / Hardback / ebook /audiobook /

Thank you to Rachel for my invite onto this blog tour @zaffrebooks for a copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.


Welcome to The Empire theatre

1922. When Jack Treadwell first arrives at The Empire, a rehearsal is in full swing, and he is instantly mesmerised by the glitz and glamour of it all. But Jack quickly learns that the true magic of The Empire is the cast of characters – both on stage and backstage – that work tirelessly to ensure the show will go on, no matter what. Jack joins them, throwing himself into theatre life, finding an eccentric new family and maybe even a leading lady of his own . . .

However, Jack soon discovers it is not just those on stage who are acting. With whispers of a scandalous cover-up and rivalries that threaten the future of The Empire, tensions rise, along with the curtain. For there is treachery at the heart of the theatre and a shocking secret waiting in the wings. Can Jack discover the truth before it is too late, and the theatre that means so much to them all goes dark?

Set in the roaring 1920s, Musical Theatre legend Michael Ball brings his trademark warmth, wit, glamour, and incredible ability to transport an audience to this, his debut novel.


I have been a Michael Ball fan for thirty years now, have seen him perform whenever he comes to Bournemouth, whether that be a solo concert or with Alfie Boe. So when I saw he had now written a book I wasn’t sure how to feel, but when I had the chance to be on the blog tour I jumped at it. When I read the book I put it out of my head that it was written by Michael and read it as I would any other book. I had been in a bit of a slump with things going on. But from the minute I picked up this book and started reading I was hooked. The smell of the theatre, the greasepaint, everything I was transported back to the 1920’s.

I think Michael has worked in enough theatres around the world to know how the industry works. But this takes the reader to behind the scenes. There are a lot of characters listed at the start but once I knew who they were I never had to refer back to it, you know who you love, you know who you aren’t sure about at the start, then how you feel about them at the end.

The story has everything.Set in the theatre known as The Empire. The Lassiter’s are the owners of the theatre. Lady Lillian Lassiter has recently become a widow and despite having trod the boards when she was young it’s like she has no interest now, she goes off to New York. Leaving the theatre under the care of Grace Hawkins and Alexander Mangrave who is supposed to be the manager but is never there leaving it all up to Grace. When another theatre owner starts putting pressure on acts to not appear at The Empire then Grace has to try and find acts to keep them open. With the help of Jack Treadwell, who only went to apply for a job as doorman but ends up doing so much more. When Lillian Lassiter sees a news article about The Empire she comes back home.

I have to say I loved the characters too many to name, the story has everything, passion for the theatre, romance, skulduggery, stories within stories, one I did guess early on. Some of the characters are still reeling from some of the things they saw in the First World War. They are trying to start afresh. What I really enjoyed is the fact it’s not just the show that is being put on it’s about all the backstage workings, the hard work as the theatre cast are being pushed to their limits. There are so many emotions. Towards the end there were times I was holding my breath.

A great debut novel I need book 2 now, this story has everything especially if like me you love the theatre. I have missed it these last couple of years. But reading this has taken me there. Front stage, back stage. The glamour of the 20’s, the razzmatazz. Scandal, romance, treachery. Thank you so much Michael Ball this is a great start to what I hope is just the beginning of a series.

Engaging relatable three dimensional characters, engrossing story and plot lines. I could not put this book down. With The show must go on attitude of the cast. An easy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read.


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 is his first novel.



  • Twitter: @mrmichaelball
  • Twitter: @ZaffreBooks
  • Instagram: @mrmichaelball
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