Chicago dazzles in sassy Southampton production

Chicago, Mayflower Theatre, until November 20

Monday, 15th November 2021, 11:00 pm
Updated Monday, 15th November 2021, 11:02 pm

Kander and Ebb’s great jazz-age musical, with choreography to die for, turns on the Razzle Dazzle in Southampton this week – a superb production which does full justice to a modern classic.

Not that there is a lot of justice in the musical itself. This was the era of the murderer as celebrity, when sleek lawyers pumped up the publicity to get their killers off the hook.

One such killer is Roxie Hart – gloriously played by Coronation Street’s Faye Brookes – who leads on her hapless hubby after gunning down the lover who wanted to leave her.

It’s an act which plonks her in prison where she discovers a new kind of rivalry – with Velma Kelly (excellent too from Djalenga Scott) who’s not going to step willingly out of the limelight in Roxie’s favour.

Between them both and possible freedom is Darren Day as Billy Flynn, a ruthless lawyer who knows precisely which words to say…

It’s seedy, but it’s sassy; it’s a world of crime, but it would be an even bigger crime to miss it.

Great number follows great number, all beautifully staged, all wonderfully choreographed. The on-stage presence of the band adds another dimension as killers and the corrupt strut and dazzle – guilty pleasures from the decidedly guilty.