13-18 June 2016
Reviewed by Darryl Ryznar
Chicago is a timeless classic.
A lively musical following the tale of Roxie Hart (Hayley Tamaddon – Emmerdale) as she is incarcerated for committing the murder of family friend (and lover!) Fred Casely. While in jail she meets the fabulous Velma Kelly (Sophie Carmen-Jones – Suited; Casualty) who is awaiting trial for the murder of her sister and husband, claiming that she’ll be out in no time thanks to her wickedly cunning lawyer Billy Flynn (John Partridge – EastEnders) hired by prison head Mama Matron (Sam Bailey – X Factor). Fun and drama ensue side by side with the glitz and glam of the 1920s when Hart also hires Flynn, thanks to her submissive doe-eyed husband, to ensure she gets off with the crime.
The soundtrack to Chicago is absolutely brilliant and the cast certainly did it justice – sitting in the audience it felt like we were punched with hit after hit after hit! Starting with ‘All that Jazz’, the scene was set – moving onto Roxie’s introduction and a saucy rendition of the ‘Cell Block Tango’, the audience were rapt. High points included ‘They Both Reached for the Gun’ – a ‘ventriloquist’ act by Flynn and Hart – and a comedic performance of the poignant ‘Mr Cellophane’ actually had the audience giggling away!
The orchestra were centre stage for the entire performance, also used as a prop to an extent – people sidled up against the conductor, and slid down the frame! Apart from the orchestra, the use of simple props – mostly chairs and two hanging ladders at the side of the stage – and clever lighting really helped bring the show to life.
The cast and dancers were excellent and their comic timing was flawless – costumes were on point, not to mention saucy!
The iconic Edinburgh Playhouse is found in the centre of Edinburgh, close to Waverley Train Station, St Andrews bus station and York Place tram stop making is readily accessible. Paid parking is available nearby with free on street parking found on several streets in close proximity to the theatre after 5.30pm.
I’d highly recommend a visit to Cook County Jail – overall a glittering 4 out of 5 stars.
Tickets cost from £15 to £51 (plus £4 transaction fee).
Chicago is at the Edinburgh Playhouse until 18 June 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 3014.
Edinburgh Playhouse, 18–22 Greenside Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA | 0844 871 3014