I have to say that as much as I like Michael Ball in general, I really don't think he was cast as Sweeney because he's the best actor for that role that they could find, it's rather because he's, well, Michael Ball. I, too, find it difficult to imagine him as Sweeney, but then I haven't seen or heard him in much else than Les Mis and Passion (and, well, Hairspray, but that doesn't really count), and both of those recordings are from almost 15 years ago at least. Still, I always thought he sounded too "light and fluffy" for Giorgio already (q.v. comparison between his Giorgio and David's Giorgio on the previous page), so I'm REALLY apprehensive about his Sweeney. It might just work, for all we know he may be really, really amazing, but I just ... can't picture it. It will be good to see it on stage, though, and once it comes to London, I suppose even if Michael Ball is not my kind of Sweeney he will probably have an alternate and at least an understudy with scheduled dates.
... and yes, Passion did win Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards
, which is a good sign for the Oliviers. I'm not holding my breath when it comes to the WOS Awards, really, as they're voted for by the public and there is absolutely no fanbase for this (compared to the cast of Love Never Dies, Legally Blonde, etc. and it won't stand a chance against "Hair" in terms of "Best Revival"), and the acting categories... well, Elena Roger is bound to get nominted everywhere for anything, and I'm absolutely convinced (and only very slightly biased) that of all the leading male performances this year, David's deserves "Best Actor in a Musical" the most(and this has been echoed by others), but again that would be pretty sensational what with his low profile in the West End.