Arts Reviews

“Razzle Dazzle, Indeed!” – LIVE Review: Chicago @ Theatre Royal

Emily Fletcher 

One of the longest running shows on Broadway, the great musical classic Chicago returns to the stage once more! The show is at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham throughout October and touring the UK until July 2022. Emily Fletcher shares her thoughts…

Throughout this performance at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal, the nuances of Bob Fosse’s original and iconic choreography shine through, with phenomenal strength throughout the ensemble cast. The simple staging, minimal costume, and relatively small cast feel right for the classic jazz style of both dance and song. The constant haze of smoke and the on-stage band also add to the feel of a Chicago jazz club.

exceptional coordination and seemingly effortless timing

Moments of the first act are unfortunately a little inconsistent; the highlight is certainly Faye Brookes’ and Darren Day’s ventriloquist act in “We Both Reached for the Gun”, demonstrating exceptional coordination and seemingly effortless timing. But, disappointingly, on this particular night, there were some moments of sound imbalances, with the orchestra drowning out some of Djalenga Scott’s opening number as Velma Kelly. However, the show really found its flow in the second act, settling in with the wonderful on-stage band and then followed by a perfectly constructed and comedically-timed court scene, showing the strength of the cast outside of the musical numbers as well.

Sinitta wasn’t only there in name, her ease on stage was apparent the second she stepped out with a powerful performance as Matron ‘Mama’ Morton in “When You’re Good to Mama”. Although having little movement around the stage to command presence, her voice sold the performance. She seemed most comfortable alongside Scott’s Velma Kelly in “Class, with shared nods being the only thing needed to choreograph this reminiscent duet.

Joel Montague’s Amos Hart was particularly notable, with the entire audience on board with his endearing and heartbreaking performance in “Mister Cellophane”. Davina De Campo also offered some delightful moments as Mary Sunshine, with the combination of soaring high soprano and comedic twists providing an unexpected addition to this often unamended musical.

Perhaps it was the strength of the performances throughout the night that left the finale number “Hot Honey Rag” feeling somewhat lacking, the sparkle of the added background feeling cheap and underwhelming. Regardless, the overall mood of the performance had all the sensual, slick, and often slimy feel associated with the Chicago crime world thanks to some flawless and perfectly-toned cast performances. Definitely one not to miss.

Emily Fletcher 

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact.

In-article image courtesy of Emily Fletcher. No changes were made to this image.

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