An amazing Mama and a foxy Roxie
I found out almost a year ago that it was coming to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre and I jumped at the chance to go along.
I’ve been waiting a long time for this musical, but it has most definitely been worth it.
The show, which ran at Aylesbury Waterside from July 11 to July 16, opens with a bang as the orchestra strikes-up the opening notes to All That Jazz.
The beautifully talented Sophie Carmen-Jones (Velma Kelly) then makes her dramatic entrance, dressed in a little black number, and belts out the number to perfection.
Hayley Tamaddon (Coronation Street, Emmerdale) who plays Roxie Hart, made her singing debut in the show by hanging off a ladder and singing Funny Honey. She has a stunning singing voice.
I also must say I much preferred Tamaddon’s Roxie to Zellweger’s. Hayley was more playful, cheeky and all-round more likeable.
The show’s extremely strong start continued when six cast members, including CarmenJones (who makes the perfect Velma and even gives Zeta-Jones a run for her money), took centre stage to sing my personal favourite number Cell Block Tango. It was amazing.
Another of my favourites then followed when Gina Murray, who plays Matron ‘Mama’ Morton, performed When You’re Good to Mama.
When Murray took to the stage the row of audience members behind me roared with applause, I didn’t think much of it at the time because she was perfectly cast as Mama and had a voice to match. However, I later discovered it was Murray’s first night in the show following just two weeks of rehearsals. Well, it certainly did not show at all. She was amazing, and if that was her opening night, the audience is in for a real treat later down the road of the tour.
Charming, smooth talking lawyer Billy Flynn, played by John Partridge (EastEnders, Celebrity Big Brother) makes his entrance, surrounded by beautiful girls, as he sings All I Care About. Like Tamaddon, he has an amazing presence on stage . Another surprising cast member was the amazing AD Richardson who was outstanding singing A Little Bit of Good and hit the highest notes I have ever heard! What a star.
I also loved Roxie’s longsuffering husband Amos Hart, played by the wonderful Neil Ditt.
Every single cast member was amazing and I have to say, it is the strongest cast I have ever seen in any show. The singing was sensational throughout, the choreography was mesmerising, the acting outstanding and the comic timing was perfect.
Chicago is continuing to tour the UK until December.