More than just jazz in slick, sexy show

The cast of Chicago - starring Tupele Dorgu as Velma Kelly, Stefan Booth as Billy Flynn, Ali Bastian as Roxie Hart and Bernie Nolan as Mama Morton
The cast of Chicago - starring Tupele Dorgu as Velma Kelly, Stefan Booth as Billy Flynn, Ali Bastian as Roxie Hart and Bernie Nolan as Mama Morton
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ANY post-Olympic blues were well and truly blown away by an outstanding performance of Chicago at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on Monday.

The show was slick, sexy, full of drama...and All That Jazz.

The story, of course, centres on nightclub performer Roxie Hart, who shoots her lover and along with Cell Block rival, Velma Kelly, fights to keep from death row by becoming a celebrity with their own show.

Tupele Dorgu, as Velma Kelly, kicks off the show with a rousing rendition of All That Jazz. Her singing was strong and her dancing perfectly in sync with the excellent chorus, whose skimpy outfits and energetic routines have the audience mesmerised throughout.

The choreography of Cell Block Tango was a particular highlight for me. The use of chairs as props in the dance routine and the feisty performances of the murderesses, led by Velma, proved very effective.

The principle character of Roxie Hart is played by former Hollyoaks and Strictly Come Dancing star Ali Bastian, and she lived up to her star billing.

She injected just the right amount of humour into the part, particularly through her range of facial expressions, and perfectly portrayed the ruthlessness of Roxie’s character that she tries to hide from the press with a sweet side.

Ex-Eastender Stefan Booth had the part of sleazy lawyer Billy Flynn down to a T. The performance of We Both Reached for the Gun shows just how much he pulls the strings in Chicago’s courts, literally playing Roxie like a puppet.

Bernie Nolan showed off her impressive vocal talents as Mama Morton, Jamie Baughan was the perfect Amos ‘Mr Cellophane’ Hart and the band, perched high up behind the action, were just brilliant.

Chicago is on at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham until Saturday. For tickets call the box office on 0115 989 5555 or visit www.trch.co.uk.