Jack Treadwell arrives at the Empire theatre looking for work but discovers friendship, romance and so much more! He works with different social classes, famous actors and starlets, musicians and stage hands in a wonderful theatrical atmosphere. But there are people who want the Empire to fail and this threatens all Jack holds dear…
The Empire is the debut novel from renowned performer (dare I say musical legend?!) Michael Ball. It was an utter delight to read. I was immediately swept into the 1920s era and felt that the social and cultural situation, impacted by the recent First World War, felt authentic.
The characters are effectively brought to life through descriptions and dialogue. Don’t be put off by the character guide at the start which felt a little overwhelming. I skipped it but found the relationships easy to understand. There is a fine mix of the flamboyant, honourable, devious, wholesome and eccentric. Perhaps a little melodramatic with characters we love to hate but I was totally hooked.
The plot itself centres around the Empire being inherited by a man with poor business sense and dubious morals. He needs to convince his step-grandmother to part with her shares whilst the business itself is struggling against a rival theatre. On the personal side, Jack is dealing with his return from France after the war, finding himself an orphan and needing a career. There is a big twist which I guessed but this did not affect my enjoyment at all.
The Empire is a captivating and richly written historical novel.
Welcome to The Empire theatre
1922. When Jack Treadwell arrives at The Empire, in the middle of a rehearsal, he is instantly mesmerised. But amid the glitz and glamour, he soon learns that the true magic of the theatre lies in its cast of characters – both on stage and behind the scenes.
There’s stunning starlet Stella Stanmore and Hollywood heartthrob Lancelot Drake; and Ruby Rowntree, who keeps the music playing, while Lady Lillian Lassiter, theatre owner and former showgirl, is determined to take on a bigger role. And then there’s cool, competent Grace Hawkins, without whom the show would never go on . . . could she be the leading lady Jack is looking for?
When long-held rivalries threaten The Empire’s future, tensions rise along with the curtain. There is treachery at the heart of the company and a shocking secret waiting in the wings. Can Jack discover the truth before it’s too late, and the theatre he loves goes dark?
Musical theatre legend Michael Ball brings his trademark warmth, wit and glamour to this, his debut novel.
Purchase Links – http://unbouncepages.com/Michael-ball/
Author Bio – 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.
Social Media Links – Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrmichaelball/ // https://twitter.com/ZaffreBooks