Chicago Tickets

Phoenix Theatre Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JP
Important Info
Chicago Child Policy

No under 16s permitted without adult.


Important Information

Contains overt references to sex and murder.
Performance Timings
Monday - 19:30
Tuesday - 19:30
Wednesday 14:30 19:30
Thursday - 19:30
Friday - 19:30
Saturday 14:30 19:30
Sunday - -
Show Info

Book Chicago Tickets

Chicago, the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, has delighted audiences around the world with its two Vaudevillian criminals Roxie and Velma. The pair are sent to Cook County Jail after they both commit murders, and the show takes you through their crimes, time in prison and subsequent trials. It’s set to a classic soundtrack featuring showstoppers such as “All That Jazz”, “I Can’t Do It Alone” and “Razzle Dazzle”.

The revival of the musical opened in London at the Phoenix Theatre on 26th March 2018, with an official opening night on 11th April.

Billy Flynn is currently played by former Blue singer Duncan James. On stage, he has appeared in the West End production of Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre opposite Sheridan Smith, and he is also known for playing detective sergeant Ryan Knight in Hollyoaks.

Until 1st September, the role of Billy Flynn was played by Spandau Ballet singer Martin Kemp, who previously appeared in the UK tour of Million Dollar Quartet and is also known for playing Steve Owen in EastEnders. He will play Billy Flynn, the smooth lawyer who can win any case, and is tasked with defending Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart in their headling-making cases. This new West End production of Chicago saw Cuba Gooding Jr. make his London theatre debut. Gooding is best known for his roles in the films Boyz n the Hood, Jerry Maguire and Men of Honor.

After originally premiering at the 46th Street Theatre (now Richard Rodgers) in 1975 in a production directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, the musical became a cult hit thanks to its exceptional performances and catchy score by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The first London production opened in the West End at the Cambridge Theatre in 1979 where it ran for over 600 performances, starring Jenny Logan, Ben Cross and Antonia Ellis. It went on to be nominated for Musical of the Year at the Olivier Awards.

Throughout its Broadway run the show has been seen in three theatres and currently plays at the Ambassador Theatre where it is now the second longest-running Broadway show of all time, behind The Phantom of the Opera.

A London revival opened on 18 November 1997 in the West End, once again directed by Walter Bobbie and designed by John Lee Beatty, with choreography by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse. The production won the 1998 Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical and throughout its run welcomed cast members including Marti Pellow, David Hasselhoff, John Barrowman, Maria Friedman, Denise Van Outen and Claire Sweeney.

A film of the musical was also produced in 2002 starring Catherine Zeta-Jones (Velma), Renée Zellweger (Roxie) and Richard Gere (lawyer Billy Finn). The film went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture and received 13 nominations, winning six awards.

Chicago the Musical was most recently seen in London in 2016 and starred John Partridge, Sophie Carmen-Jones and Hayley Tamaddon.

Chicago the Musical Tickets are available now.


About Chicago 

Chicago the Musical follows 'not your usual housewife', Roxie Hart, who gains dubious notoriety when she kills her boyfriend, invents her defence and manipulates everyone from her trustworthy husband to the fickle media and the unsuspecting public. A harsh satire on media, fame and justice, the musical is set in 1920s Chicago and follows a sleazy celebrity lawyer as he works to get whip up a jury in order to turn two murderers into stars. The Kander and Ebb score features well known songs such as "All That Jazz", "Razzle Dazzle", "All I Care About" and "Mr. Cellophane".


Chicago Child Policy 

No under 16s permitted without adult.


Important Information 

Contains overt references to sex and murder.

Important information

Running time
2h20
Booking Until
Sat, 5 January 2019
Cast

Chicago Cast

Alexandra Burke
as Roxie Hart
until 13 Oct 2018

Denise Van Outen
as Velma Kelly
24 Sep 2018 to 17 Nov 2018


Cast List

Duncan James (as Billy Flynn), Mazz Murray (as Mama Morton), Sarah Soetaert (as Roxie) and Josefina Gabrielle (as Velma). Denise Van Outen will take over as Velma Kelly on 24th September.

Reviews

Chicago Critics & Reviews

Critics rating: **
Review by: Will Longman

Chicago made its first appearance on Broadway in 1975, and it lit up New York with its razzle dazzle. Reviving the show at London’s Phoenix Theatre now, however, doesn’t pack half the punch it would have then, with a half-hearted production unfortunately leaving it feeling dated.

It’s a typical glitzy, Broadway story with a touch of grit. Two wannabe performers, Roxie and Velma, who see their names up in lights are both arrested for murder, and call on a superstar lawyer to get them off the charges. He does it by wooing the press, splashing them across the front pages, and playing the jury into his hands, leaving his defendants free to become the stars they’ve always dreamed of being.

A musical about showbusiness like this, however, should be a bit more, well, showy. On a bare bones set (the band are placed at the back of the stage leaving little room for much else), with just a few lights doing the work, the production doesn’t capture the spectacle the show could be.

It’s also a show about sex, and the the first half lets you know it; it really does all it can to rinse every bit of sex appeal out of the show, but I lasted about 20 minutes before finding it forced. The second act has more depth, but by that point you’ve lost any empathy with the characters.

Making his musical debut as Billy Flynn, there’s no doubt Cuba Gooding Jnr. can act. He reels in the laughs as the slick lawyer, and he sure does have that suave pizzazz you need to play the part, it’s just a shame his voice doesn’t suit the songs. He has a naturally raspy voice, which is great when you’re playing a cocky seasoned lawyer, but it can be difficult to hear him as he strains to be heard over the band.

The band are a highlight of the show to be honest, in the sense that the score is Chicago’s star. You’ll get all the numbers you buy the ticket for: “All That Jazz”, “We Both Reached for The Gun” and “Razzle Dazzle” are classics - as is, in my opinion anyway, the underrated, understated “Mr Cellophane”. But they too feel quite tired in this show.

Ruthie Henshall becomes the first actor to play all three female leads as she takes on Mama Morton, the jailhouse warden who sets the girls up with Billy for a cut of the action. Her numbers are perfectly fine, but it simply feels like a couple of walk-on numbers.

All in all, the ensemble - who each already have a Chicago credit to their name - do justice to Bob Fosse’s winding choreography.But by the end of the evening, as Roxie and Velma finally get their shot as they take to the stage as a Vaudeville act, I wasn’t really bothered about where they were and how they got there; underwhelmed by a show that deserves much more.

Chicago Tickets are available now.


What the popular press said...

"The show is harsh, cynical and funny and chimes well with an age that understands the psychotic nature of celebrity. I’m all for reviving old musicals, but this one has not been imaginatively rethought."

Michael Billington, The Guardian (three stars)***

"Experienced musical theatre performers and ‘Chicago’ veterans Sarah Soetaert and Josefina Gabrielle hold down the main parts of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, feuding femme fatales in Prohibition-era Windy City. And they’re solid: the show retains a classy edge and strong fundamentals, not least because of the high kickin’ choreography, styled after that of the show’s original director Bob Fosse."

Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out (three stars)***
Venue Info

Phoenix Theatre

Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JP

VIEW SEATING PLAN


Phoenix Theatre

Address: Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JP
Capacity: 1012

The Phoenix Theatre opened on 24th September 1930, Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Cecil Massey and Bertie Crewe, it was built on the site of the Alcazar Music Hall, a performance space that had fallen from grace into a casino, as well as offering exhibitions such as ‘Beautiful Artists’ and ‘Posing Models’ – not shows one would expect to see it a respected music hall. The exterior of the building takes on a neoclassical look, with an interior designed by Theodore Komisarjevsky inspired by the interiors of traditional Italian theatres. The auditorium was decorated with intricate gold engravings, as well as decorated ceilings, lush red seats and sculpted wooden doors. The theatre has remained largely as it was constructed, not undergoing extensive renovations like other West End Houses.

The play chosen to open the Phoenix Theatre was Noël Coward’s Private Lives, which Mr Coward also starred in alongside Laurence Olivier. It was a great success for the theatre, and Mr Coward could be seen again at the venue in 1936 with Tonight at 8:30 and Quadrille in 1952. Such was his association with the theatre that on his 70th birthday the bar in the foyer of the theatre was given the name the Noël Coward Bar in his honour.

The Phoenix Theatre saw a steady succession of plays take up residence on its stage, including John Gielgud’s Love for Love, and premieres of Terence Rattigan’s plays Harlequinade and The Browning Version. It wasn’t until 1968 that the theatre hosted its first successful musical, an adaptation of The Canterbury Tales, which ran for 2080 performances. Tom Stoppard’s Night and Day opened in 1978 for a two year run, before a host of musicals invaded the theatre in 1980, starting with The Biograph Girl by David Heneker and Warner Brown.

The theatre’s greatest success arrived in November 1991 in the form of Blood Brothers, Willy Russell’s musical. It ran for 21 years, finally closing on 10th November 2012.

The theatre is currently owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group.


Seating

The auditorium has three levels – Stalls, Dress Circle and Grand Circle.

The seats in the Stalls offer very good views of the stage, with a light rake in the seating helping seats further back. The Dress Circle obstructs the view from Row P onward.

The view from the Dress Circle is generally very good, though the rake of the seating is not as noticeable as in other theatres, so people may suffer if they happen to be sitting behind a particularly tall person! The overhang of the Upper Circle slight restricts the view from Row G onwards.

The Grand Circle is surprisingly close to the stage, which is great for feeling involved in the show, though the legroom at this level is not great.


Facilities At Phoenix Theatre 

Seat plan: Phoenix Theatre Seat Plan
Facilities: Air conditioned
Bar
Disabled toilets
Infrared hearing loop
Toilets
Wheelchair accessible


Access description:
 Main entrance (Phoenix Street) up a 10cm step through swing doors into the foyer. Box Office counter to the left. Staircases have handrails on both sides. Stalls down 24 steps from the foyer, Dress Circle up 21 steps (2 steps between rows). Upper Circle up 42 steps. Venue carpeted throughout.

Sound Amplification: Ezee portable induction loop at box office. Infra-red system in the auditorium.

Guide Dogs: Guide dogs are welcome but are not permitted inside the auditorium. Staff are available to look after dogs in the staff room.

Disabled Access: Please ask a member of staff to open the side entrance on Flitcroft Street. Space for 1 wheelchair user and companion in Box C; not suitable for oversized/large electric wheelchairs. 2 transfer seats available to Dress Circle A27 and A28. Venue is not suitable for scooters, however 1 transferee is allowed in the transfer seats.

Toilets: 11 steps to the women’s and men’s off the Stalls. 15 steps up from the Dress Circle bar to women’s and men’s at this level, and further toilets at Upper Circle level.

Disabled Toilets: Adapted toilet behind Box C in the Dress Circle. There are 2 slightly awkward turns


Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road
Tube lines:  Central, Northern
Location:  West End
Railway station:  Euston
Bus numbers:  (Charing Cross Road) 14, 24, 29, 176; (Shaftesbury Avenue) 19, 38
Night bus numbers:  (Charing Cross Road) 14, 24, 176 N29, N41, N279; (Shaftesbury Avenue) N5, N19, N20, N38
Car park:  Chinatown (5mins)
Within congestion zone?:  Yes
Directions from tube:  (3mins) Take Tottenham Court Road south (towards Leicester Square) and the theatre will be on your left after 100 metres.NB: Central Line trains will not be stopping at Tottenham Court Road Tube Station until December 2015.

Photos

Chicago Photo Gallery