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Russell Watson to play Billy Flynn in Chicago UK and Ireland Tour

David Ian in association with Barry and Fran Weissler are delighted to announce that multi-award-winning UK classical singer and stage star Russell Watson will take on the role of ‘Billy Flynn’ in the acclaimed UK and Ireland tour of the international musical sensation CHICAGO. Russell joins the previously announced Faye Brookes as ‘Roxie Hart’ and Djalenga Scott as ‘Velma Kelly’, opening at Liverpool Empire on Monday 7 February 2022.

CHICAGO. Russell Watson 'Billy Flynn'. Photo Paul Coltas.
CHICAGO. Russell Watson ‘Billy Flynn’. Photo Paul Coltas.

The cast will also include Ishmail Aaron, Michelle Andrews, Gabby Antrobus, Delycia Belgrave, Joel Benjamin, Tanisha-Mae Brown, Daniel Clift, Callum Fitzgerald, Emily Goodenough, Billie Hardy, Aaron Jenkins, Liam Marcellino, Theo Reece, Hollie Jane Stephens and Harrison Wilde.

Russell Watson is regarded as one of the world’s greatest classical singers, having released ten critically acclaimed studio albums. His debut album, ‘The Voice’ held the number one chart position in the UK for a record-breaking 52 weeks. Throughout his extensive career Watson has collaborated with Meatloaf, Lionel Richie, Paul McCartney, Alexandra Burke, and Luciano Pavarotti. He recently appeared as a contestant on the twentieth series, and castle edition, of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! His stage credits include Parson Nathaniel in Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds on tour and Karl Oscar in the English world premiere of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’ Kristina at Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.

Faye Brookes (Roxie Hart) recently reached the final of this year’s series of ITV’s Dancing On Ice. She is best known for her role as Kate Connor in ITV’s Coronation Street, for which she won a National Television Award. Her theatre credits include Princess Fiona in Shrek and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, both on national tour, Ann/Edna in That Day We Sang directed by Victoria Wood at Manchester’s Royal Exchange, Liesl in The Sound of Music at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Frenchy in Grease at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre. Faye’s other TV credits include Agnes Franklin in Our Girl and Helena in Atlantis, both for the BBC.

Djalenga Scott’s (Velma Kelly) West End credits include Lily St Regis in Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the New London and Chicago at the Adelphi, Cambridge and Garrick Theatres. Her other credits include Anita in the national tour of West Side Story, Rizzo in Grease at Curve Leicester, Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show and Carmen in Fame, both on European tours, the US tour of Batman Live and Bombalurina in Cats at Kilworth House. Djalenga’s screen credits include Scarlett/Esme in Trapped for the BBC and Alexandra in the film I Give It A Year.

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.

Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, CHICAGO’s sexy, sassy score includes the show-stopping songs “Razzle Dazzle”, “Cell Block Tango”, and “All That Jazz”. Winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, CHICAGO is the longest-running American musical in Broadway and West End history.

Since it opened in New York in 1996, CHICAGO has played in 36 countries worldwide and has been performed in English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, French, Danish, Japanese and Korean. Worldwide it has been seen by an estimated 33 million people, grossed over $1.7 billion and played over 32,500 performances.

CHICAGO, which is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1996 Broadway revival of CHICAGO was choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse, directed by Walter Bobbie, and produced by Barry and Fran Weissler.

CHICAGO UK AND IRELAND TOUR LISTINGS 2022

MONDAY 7 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2022
Liverpool Empire
Russell Watson – Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 14 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2022
Congress Theatre, Eastbourne
www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk
Russell Watson – Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 21 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2022
The Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
www.southendtheatres.org.uk
Russell Watson – Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 28 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 5 MARCH 2022
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
www.everymantheatre.org.uk
Russell Watson – Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

TUESDAY 8 MARCH – SATURDAY 12 MARCH 2022
Milton Keynes Theatre
Russell Watson – Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 14 MARCH – SATURDAY 19 MARCH 2022
Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent
Russell Watson – Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 21 MARCH – SATURDAY 26 MARCH 2022
Regent Theatre, Ipswich
www.ipswichtheatres.co.uk
Russell Watson – Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 28 MARCH – SATURDAY 2 APRIL 2022
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
www.aberdeenperformingarts.com
Russell Watson – Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

TUESDAY 5 APRIL – SATURDAY 16 APRIL 2022
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin
www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie
Russell Watson – Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

TUESDAY 19 APRIL – SATURDAY 23 APRIL 2022
The Orchard Theatre, Dartford
www.orchardtheatre.co.uk
Russell Watson – Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 25 APRIL – SATURDAY 30 APRIL 2022
Bristol Hippodrome
Russell Watson – Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 2 MAY – SATURDAY 7 MAY 2022
New Victoria Theatre, Woking
Russell Watson – Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

TUESDAY 10 MAY – SATURDAY 14 MAY 2022
Leeds Grand Theatre
www.leedsheritagetheatres.com
Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

TUESDAY 17 MAY – SATURDAY 21 MAY 2022
New Wimbledon Theatre
Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 23 MAY – SATURDAY 28 MAY 2022
Manchester Opera House
Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

TUESDAY 31 MAY – SATURDAY 4 JUNE 2022
Sunderland Empire
Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 6 JUNE – SATURDAY 11 JUNE 2022
Grand Opera House, Belfast
www.goh.co.uk
Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

TUESDAY 14 JUNE – SATURDAY 18 JUNE 2022
Theatre Royal, Plymouth
www.theatreroyal.com
Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 20 JUNE – SATURDAY 25 JUNE 2022
New Theatre, Cardiff
www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk
Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

TUESDAY 5 JULY – SATURDAY 9 JULY 2022
Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 11 JULY – SATURDAY 16 JULY 2022
Theatre Royal, Norwich
www.norwichtheatre.org
Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

MONDAY 18 JULY – SATURDAY 23 JULY 2022
New Theatre Oxford
Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly

MONDAY 25 JULY – SATURDAY 30 JULY 2022
Venue Cymru, Llandudno
www.venuecymru.co.uk
Faye Brookes – Roxie Hart & Djalenga Scott – Velma Kelly.

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