12-17 September 2016
Reviewed by Linzi Davies
I drove into Liverpool with a friend to watch this world renowned musical, excited and hoping to be enthralled as I had heard so many wonderful things about it. I parked in a public car park approximately 10 minutes walk away, although I did notice quite a lot of available on street parking as we approached the location. I do prefer to be a little further away to avoid the mad rush to escape after the finale. We collected our tickets from the ever efficient staff and quickly grabbed a small bottle of red and two bottles of water costing £10 before taking our seats in the Stalls (Row L 39, 40). This really is one of my favourite theatres, the architecture is mesmeric and offers visions of grand eras gone by.
I loved the stage setting, with the orchestra the amazing centre piece on raised pews with the rest of the show going on around and within them. Often the band are a somewhat forgotten part of wonderful musicals whereas this super talented group of people will never be forgotten and the Musical Director, Ben Atkinson, What a guy!!
The show opened with an instantly recognisably tune, “All That Jazz” even for those of us that haven’t seen the production, it’s a toe tapping sing along belt out track which instantly had the audience embroiled in the razzmatazz of “Chicago”
The story centre around Roxie Hart (Hayley Tamaddon), a chorus girl, who isn’t shy in coming forward so to speak. Her late night shenanigans with a local man result in her shooting him in cold blood when she believed he was about to end the relationship. Roxie was imprisoned (awaiting trial, along with a bevy of beautiful ladies all vying to keep themselves in the public eye to help their treacherous cases. Roxie’s poor wallflower husband is manipulated and cajoled throughout the show, yet for one so under the thumb, bewitches the audience and ultimately becomes in my opinion one of the most popular characters.
Jessie Wallace, (Matron “Mama” Morton) better known as Kat Slater in Eastenders and John Partridge, (Billy Flynn) better known for his 5 year role as Christian Clark also in Eastenders are the crowd pullers but to be honest, every single actor deserves the plaudits. The songs were word perfect, the choreography beautiful to watch and the acting sincere and heartfelt.
A special mention to Mary Sunshine, ear splitting and glass smashing but not entirely what she seems.
Definitely a show I would watch again.
Tickets cost from £12 to £44.50 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Chicago is at the Liverpool Empire until 17 September 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 8713017.
Liverpool Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017