Theatre / Feature

All you need to know about hit musical Chicago

Duncan James join the cast.

Hit musical Chicago continues its thrilling return to the West End with further cast announcements. Later this month, Duncan James will join the cast in a lead role.

The actor and singer will take on the role of Billy Flynn from 10 September

West End star Denise Van Outen had been slated to return to the show as Velma Kelly, however has had to cancel her appearances due to injury. A replacement is expected to be announced in the near future.

Duncan James joins Alexandra Burke as Roxie Hart, who joined the cast last month, as well as continuing cast members Mazz Murray and Paul Rider.

He was most recently seen playing the role of Ryan in the popular Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks. Duncan rose to fame as one quarter of the band Blue, which, to date, has had 40 No.1 singles worldwide, three No.1 UK albums and sales of over 16 million records.

Now running at London’s Phoenix Theatre, here’s what you need to know about the show.

What is Chicago about?

Chicago was inspired by a Maureen Dallas Watkins’ play of the same name written in 1926. Later adapted into a stage musical, it premiered in 1975 and was directed by legendary choreographer Bob Fosse.

Having wowed audiences all around the world, Chicago has been honoured with six Tonys, two Oliviers and a Grammy. Earlier this year, it celebrated its 21st anniversary as the longest running musical on Broadway.

Chicago tells the thrilling tale of 1920’s nightclub performers turned murderesses. Dancing for their lives in order to stay off Death Row, Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly enlist the help of smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn to help them clear their names.

What can audiences expect from Chicago?

Chicago is packed with everything that makes a musical great. Topping the list is the sizzling score by John Kander and Fred Ebb. You’ll hear one showstopping song after another – including All That Jazz, Cell Block Tango, When You’re Good to Mama, Hot Honey Rag and Razzle Dazzle, among many more.

Plus, the intricate choreography is sure to grab your attention and keep you energised throughout the show. Just take a look at the production shots and you’ll get an idea of how captivating it is!

(Note that these shots may include cast members no longer appearing in the show.)

Who stars in Chicago?

Alexandra Burke stars as Roxie Hart alongside continuing cast members Mazz Murray (Mama Morton) and Paul Rider (Amos Hart).

Duncan James joins the cast from 10 September as Billy Flynn; with the role of Velma Kelly expected to be announced in the near future.

What are the critics saying?

“A real pleasure to have the old razzle-dazzle back in town” ★★★★ – Evening Standard

“Sexy, cool, sophisticated” ★★★★ – The Times

“The sexiest musical ever” ★★★★ – Metro

What else do I need to know?

Chicago is open at London’s Phoenix Theatre, booking until 5 January 2019.

 Tickets are available now through – book now and pay no booking fees here.


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