CHICAGO, the “sexiest musical ever” (Metro) is back at the New Theatre in Cardiff for one week only starring Coronation Street’s FAYE BROOKES (Dancing On Ice, Grease, Legally Blonde) as Roxie Hart, and West End star DJALENGA SCOTT as Velma Kelly, JAMIE BAUGHAN as Amos Hart and B.E. WONG as Mary Sunshine.

We had the fantastic LEE MEAD join the line up in this all singing, all dancing fest, who suits up as Billy Flynn. Now, we see the welcome return to South Wales of the much loved and multi-talented BRENDA EDWARDS, who you may have seen recently in the touring production of Hairspray.

Brenda is no stranger to the show and has already received massive praise for her previous Chicago outing.

Brenda Edwards – CHICAGO (Pic: Catherine Ashmore)

Brenda who will be playing Mama Morton on selected dates, including here, gained public acclaim as a semi-finalist on The X Factor before turning her attention to the stage, making her West End debut as Mama Morton in CHICAGO. Her additional theatre credits include Motormouth Maybelle in the UK tour of Hairspray, Nettie Fowler in Carousel at the London Coliseum, Killer Queen in We Will Rock You both the West End and original UK Tour and Pearl Pastor in Carmen Jones at the Royal Festival Hall. Brenda is also a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women as well as presenting BBC1’s Songs of Praise.

Lee Mead joins the production from Tuesday 31st May at the Sunderland Empire, which means he’s on board in plenty of time for the South Wales leg of the tour, which begins at the New Theatre in Cardiff on Monday 20th June.

New images have just been released of Lee starring as Billy Flynn in the UK and Ireland tour of CHICAGO.

Lee Mead as Billy Flynn in Chicago (Pic: Matt Crockett)

Okay, time for the part which makes us all feel just a little older – Lee shot to prominence after winning the BBC series ‘Any Dream Will Do’ to take the role of Joseph in the West End in 2007 (I know, 15 years ago). The singles ‘Any Dream Will Do’ and ‘Close Every Door’ made it to number two in the charts and later that year he released his debut album ‘Lee Mead’.

Since then Lee returned to the West End in 2010 to take on the role of Fyero in the musical ‘Wicked’ to critical acclaim. He continued to pursue his solo singing career, taking his own show ‘An Evening with Lee Mead’ around the UK. He also starred in his own Christmas show at the London Coliseum.

So, what have we got lines up for our night out at the theatre?

“Murder, greed, corruption, exploitation, adultery and treachery”.

All those things and so much more we can enjoy on a night at the theatre. We are of course talking about this international multi-award-winning musical.

It’s one of those shows which you really can, and believe me many of us do, watch over and over again. Yes it’s the songs, the dancing, the sexiness of it all, but despite the fact it’s set in the 1920s, there’s something very current about the story too. If it was a story fresh from today we can guarantee it would be a tabloid and internet sensation.

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 20s, 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.

FAYE BROOKES, who plays Roxie Hart, was fantastic on ITV’s Dancing on Ice and 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.

As well as Faye we have leading West End star DJALENGA SCOTT (Annie, Chicago, West Side Story) as Velma Kelly.

Djalenga’s 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.

The cast is completed by 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. 

As we said, the show is all about media manipulation, PR & narcissistic celebrities who are willing to do anything for exposure and attention – does that sound very 2021/22 to you?

Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, Chicago the musical’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.

  • “SUPERB” (Daily Telegraph)
  • CHICAGO “remains a phenomenon” (Sunday Express) 

Chicago the musical, is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins. Since it opened in New York in 1996, it has played in 36 countries worldwide, and 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 has played over 32,500 performances.

The images below are from various productions over the years.

CHICAGO THE MUSICAL gets to the New Theatre in Cardiff from next Monday 20th to Saturday 25th June. Tuesday to Saturday performances are at 7:30pm with 2:30pm matinees Wednesday to Saturday. Tickets range from £19 to £260 if you fancy a box, with various concessions along the way. You can get your tickets NEW THEATRE.

It then moves on to Venue Cymru in Llandudno from Monday 25th to Saturday 30th July, Brenda isn’t playing this venue. Performances are at 7:30pm with tickets priced between £15.50 and £54, again with a variety of concessions. Incidentally, there is a 13+ age restriction. You can your tickets VENUE CYMRU