The 2016 UK National Tour of Chicago has been announced today, with tour dates and initial casting for the musical also confirmed.
The international award-winning musical will embark on a major UK Tour next year, starring John Partridge as Billy Flynn, Hayley Tamaddon as Roxie Hart and Sam Bailey as Mama Morton. The show opens at the New Oxford Theatre on Friday 12th February 2016, where it will run until Saturday 20th February before continuing its nationwide dates.
Based on real events in the 1920’s, Chicago is the story of nightclub singer Roxie Hart, who is arrested and jailed for shooting her lover. In the women’s block of Cook County Jail, she and fellow murderess, vaudevillian star Velma Kelly, enter into a bitter rivalry for the limelight, the headlines, and smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn, as they fight to keep from death row.
Chicago‘s ‘sexy, sassy score’ includes ‘All That Jazz’, Razzle Dazzle’, Cell Block Tango’, ‘I Can’t Do It Alone’ and ‘We Both Reached For The Gun’.
The original Broadway production premiered in 1975. It made its West End debut at the Cambridge Theatre in 1979, and was revived in 1997, opening at the Adelphi Theatre on 18th November 1997 to rave reviews and subsequently winning the Laurence Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Musical Production’ and the Critics Circle Drama Award for ‘Best Musical’. The musical ran in the West End for 15 years, transferring to the Cambridge Theatre in 2006 and then the Garrick Theatre in 2011, where it played its final performance on 1st September 2012.
Chicago is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins. It features a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Scenic design is by John Lee Beatty, costume design by William Ivey Long, light by Ken Billington, sound by Rick Clarke and musical supervision by Rob Fisher.
Chicago is choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse and directed by Walter Bobbie.
John Partridge is probably best known for playing the role of Christian Clarke in EastEnders. His many musical theatre credits include Rum Tum Tugger in Cats in the West End, on tour and the official film of the show, John in Miss Saigon on the first UK national tour and most recently Zach in A Chorus Line at the London Palladium. John was also a judge on BBC1’s Over the Rainbow, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search to find a Dorothy for the musical The Wizard of Oz.
Hayley Tamaddon has just finished playing Andrea Beckett in Coronation Street. She also played Del Dingle in Emmerdale. Her numerous theatre credits include The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and Janet in The Rocky Horror Show. Hayley also won the 5th series of ITV1’s Dancing on Ice.
Sam Bailey worked as a prison officer at HM Prison Gartree for three years until 2013. At the end of that year Sam won the tenth series of The X Factor receiving more than a million votes over the course of the final weekend. Following her win, her debut single Skyscraper was released and achieved the Christmas Number One. This was followed in 2014 with her debut album, The Power of Love, reaching number one in the album charts.
The 2016 UK National Tour of CHICAGO will be produced by David Ian and Michael Watt in association with the Broadway producers Barry and Fran Weissler.
Full casting is set to be announced soon, along with further dates in the 2016 tour schedule.