Rocky Horror Show

Chicago - The Musical

14 July 09 words: Tasha Chowdhury
With the ten piece jazz band sat centre stage, the show was definitely all about the music

Roxy in ChicagoThe longest running Broadway musical in the West End is now visiting Nottingham for one week only. The production is based closely on the original direction by Walter Bobbie and choreography of Bob Fosse.

This musical based in 1920s Chicago tells the story of two murdering jailhouse dolls who do not lack in razzle dazzle. Both with hopes of fame from their unfortunate position rely on the skills of suave lawyer Billy Flynn to release them from prison and help them to realise their dreams.

The adultering lead character Roxy Hart is surprisingly played by Emma Barton, best known as Honey from EastEnders. The role has proved her versatility as an all singing and dancing talent. I was constantly waiting for her to drop from her quite convincing Windy City tones to a bit of rhyming slang. However, despite her slightly wavering accent during some numbers she pulled off the guise of Chicago show girl well

However, the show seemed to be stolen by Twinnie-Lee Moore’s performance as Velma Kelly, the other lead criminal showgirl. Moore’s vocals were strong and resonated through the theatre, portraying the character of Velma brilliantly. Her Cell Block Tango allowed her to show off not only her, but the supporting actresses’ dancing and singing talent. All scantily clad in burlesque style costumes, brought the stage to life. Very few musicals have so much leg on show! I must at this point also mention the very toned male actors, who were also pleasingly scantily clad, something there for everyone! My only disappointment from the troop was seeing silent tap dancing. Chicago image

Gary Wilmot as crafty lawyer Billy Flynn, was also a surprise. His name conjures memories of kids TV from the days of Floella Benjamin.  With his dramatic entrance to the show singing All I Care About, whilst immersed in a sea of feather fans held by the dancing troop of ladies, it was a great start to a surprisingly impressive performance. This man can actually sing!

With the ten piece jazz band sat centre stage, the show was definitely all about the music. Musical director, Garth Hall, was roped in by the cast during the performance, this element really added to the big band feel to the show.

Even if you don’t really like musicals, this really is great show to go and see. Brilliant choreography with numbers that have lyrics that are sure to put a smile on your face. Seeing this live beats the film any day! 


Chicago plays at Nottingham Theatre Royal from Monday 13 to Saturday 18 July 2009.