Tuesday, 23 November 2021

REVIEW: Chicago at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Chicago proves why it's been around for a while and it is definitely here to stay. This black box production uzes class and establishes itself as a classic musical theatre piece. If you’ve not seen Chicago, where have you been?! This version of the show opened in London back in 1997 and has refused to leave our stages and this production validates exactly why. 

This has to be one of the classiest shows on the circuit at the moment and even though the style of the show could be of an acquired taste, it sure has something for everyone. With impeccable choreography, humour pouring through it and relevance to our lives today this show is what the country needs. 

The light humour in the piece carries through and with the talented cast it's very easy to watch but then when the harder hitting moments come, they hit pretty hard. In a world where celebrities are created through social media and, arguably, have no ‘real’ talents, this shows message and meaning carries through to modern-day. 

Starring Faye Brooks and Djalenga Scott as Roxie and Velma, they lead the company with grace and the highest level of professionalism. Both performed with such confidence that, as an audience, you know you were in good hands. We’ve seen a lot of celebrity casting within these roles, more so in Roxie, but in the many time, I have seen this show, they are definitely at the top of the list. 

Featuring Darren Day and Sinitta Malone as Billy Flynn and Mama Morton they supported the other cast members well. As ticket selling names they provide audience members with what they expect, as performers in a musical they were often overshone by the rest of the cast. 

Special mention must go to Joel Montague who gave a heartwarming performance as Amos Hart, a much younger casting than I’ve seen before in this show but he was perfection. This evening we had the treat of having Daniel Clift as Mary Sunshine, he is one of the understudies of the role but he played it as if he had been doing it for years. Both are huge credits to this company. 

Stealing the show is this wonderful ensemble. Filled with incredible talent and not one weak link, this company are together 100% of the time and fill the supporting characters with commitment and drive the story forward. It's an absolute credit to Stephen Crockett's skills as a casting director to pull together a group of such incredible talents. Standouts of the evening go to Tanisha-Mae Brown and Liam Marcellino who kept catching my eye, however, each and every single member of the ensemble were wonderful and are a huge credit to this show. 

I must mention Andrew Hilton and his band, Hilton is fully involved in this show and does a stand-up job and his band fill the show with energy and are a class act. 

Chicago is a show filled with class and beauty, providing high-quality talent and a perfect showcase of what the theatre has to offer. Get down to your local theatre and get a taste of what has been missing from the world for two years.

Review by Mark Swale 

Rating: ★★★★

Seat: Stalls, L37 | Price of Ticket: £47.50

Photo credit: Tristram Kenton
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