Review: Chicago (touring) Nottingham Royal Concert Hall

four star

Telling the sordid tales of 1920s murderers Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly ~ Chicago hits the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall stage running. It is costumed and designed in a sexy black and white design and directed by Walter Bobbie. Choreography is in the style of Bob Fosse by Ann Reinking. This current 2016 tour of Chicago moves as dangerously and fast as a bullet from a gun.

Fast as a bullet from a gun

For the opening night understudy Ellie Mitchell (covering for Jessie Wallace) commands the stage as Matron ‘Mama’ Morton with her personality and powerful voice.

CHICAGO-UK-Tour-2016-02

The show opens with a slinky sexy entrance from Go-To-Hell Kitty (Emily Warner) and never stops entertaining from beginning to glorious end. The two main leads Velma Kelly (Sophie Carmen Jones) and Roxie Hart (Hayley Tamaddon) are both terrific in their roles as the two femme fatale murderers, Carmen Jones vamping it up deliciously and Tamaddon wonderfully showing of her dance, singing and comedy skills.

There is splendid muscular and vocal support from the ensemble of actor-dancers and out of many superbly done numbers Cell Block Tango – Velma and the girls is the most gutsy and vibrant.

Billy Flynn played by John Partridge is wickedly louche and has a fine singing voice and magnetic stage presence and his on stage relationships with Velma and Roxie is very believable. Amos Hart is sympathetically played by Neil Ditt and his rendition of Mr Cellophane gets a huge round of applause even if the character deliberately doesn’t get his exit music.

Musically the show is top notch with charismatic Musical Director Ben Atkinson directing his ten piece on stage orchestra throughout the show. Fittingly the musicians all join in the leg kicking fun of the show which makes the whole piece very inclusive and organic.

Featuring all the numbers audience members know from Chicago including All That Jazz, A Little Bit Of Good, We Both Reached For The Gun, Me And My Baby, Razzle Dazzle and Nowadays, this show is one not to miss on the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall Calendar.

Chicago runs 15 to 20 Aug at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall

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