Nottingham Royal Concert Hall.
Nottingham Royal Concert Hall.
“Murder, greed, corruption, exploitation, adultery and treachery…all those things we hold near and dear to our hearts“. That's the introduction to the International award winning musical which has returned to the Royal Centre this week.
Roxie Hart (Hayley Tammadon) is cheating on her wimpy husband Amos (Neil Ditt) with hunky Fred Casely (Francis Foreman) and ends up shooting him dead. She is taken to prison where she meets Velma Kelly (Sophie Carmen-Jones), the current Queen of the women's prison. Roxie is taken under Matron "Mama" Morton's wing, played on Monday night by understudy Ellie Mitchell, due to Jessie Wallace not being well. Both Velma and Roxie escape the hangman's noose thanks to smooth talking lawyer, Billy Flynn (John Partdidge).
This musical is sassy, slick, seductive, saucy but most of very very sexy. In the main this is due to the incredibly lithe male and female dancers who, literally bend over backwards to entertain!
If the laundry bill is based on the amount of cloth that is washed, then the dancer's bill would not be a great deal, and the material there is, is stretched very tight! You get the picture?
Choreographed by Ann Reinking, There are some wonderfully glamorous dance routines, many of which would not have looked out of place in any of the Busby Berkeley Hollywood classics, The wonderful feather scene to "All I Care About" is one that springs to mind.
The show is laced with memorable songs such as "Cell Block Tango", which was a sight for this old man's eyes, there were legs everywhere! "All That Jazz", "Razzle Dazzle", "Roxie", the wonderful "Mr Cellophane", the clever vocals of "They Both Reached For The Gun", with an incredibly long note from Mr Partridge, showing off his great vocal control.
The live band were A-MA-ZING.Led by Ben Atkinson, They were part of the show and they created a lot of the fun, especially at the start of Act 2 and the finale with their crazy dance routines and "messing about". Great entertainment and a cracking, swinging sound.
Sophie Carmen-Jones has an amazing voice and a great pair of pins on her, as does Hayley Tammadon. She may be small but she is big on talent. Having seen this ex soap star previously on stage, i knew that she would be brilliant for this role.
John Partridge is another ex soap star who excels in the theatre. He started off performing in "Cats" when he was a teenager and you can see the suave song and dance man here in his role as the hard faced, tough talking Flynn.
Stepping up from understudy for Jessie Wallace, Ellie Mitchell did an amazing job. An absolutely cracking version of the saucy "When You're Good To Mama".
Neil Ditt, as Amos, underplayed his part sublimely and, as "Mr Cellophane" is one of my favourite songs from the show, I was looking forward to his version and he didn't disappoint.
One other role which was played excellently was that of Mary Sunshine, the news reporter with a heart of gold, who has a bit of a crush on Flynn. Mary's wonderfully soaring voice ripped through the Royal Concert Hall. A D Richardson plays this part with hidden depth!
"Chicago"is based on the real life events of 1920's nightclub singer Roxie Hart. This is one classy and sexy show with some brilliant musical numbers and energetic choreography as well as some brilliant costumes, then this is the one to see this week.
"Chicago" is on at the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall until Saturday 20 August 2016.