Chicago, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, until
THIS was the third time I have seen Chicago and this production directed by Scott Faris is the best yet. It is based on the original New York production by City Center’s Encores! But it is so fresh and the simple set designed by John Lee Beatty enhances the production.
What makes this production different is the orchestra under the musical direction of Adrian Kirk are part of the action. They are on the stage and they give a highly entertaining sequence at the start of Act 2 and again after the curtain call.
Ali Bastian as Roxie Hart and Tupele Dorgu as Velma Kelly are a terrific double act. Who would have thought the machinist Kelly Crabtree from the knicker factory in Coronation Street (Tupele) had such a great singing voice and was such a good dancer. Bernie Nolan is also the classic Mama Morton, a joy to watch.
The part of Billy Flynn can make or break Chicago and David Ian and Michael Watt have got it just right in the casting of Stefan Booth, he was born to play the part. Jamie Baughan is also well cast as Roxy’s long-suffering husband Amos, I loved his performance singing Mister Cellophane.
This is a real feelgood production and you come out tapping your feet with a huge smile on your face. Catch it if you can.