Sexy show has lots of sparkle

Chicago at Sunderland Empire until November 18

Chicago at Sunderland Empire until November 18

Regarded as one of the sexiest and most stylish musicals on the London stage, the touring version of this award-winning production does not fail to deliver.

From the moment the curtain rises it is obvious this is going to be a supremely slick show.

Its real strength is its precise and energetic choreography and a foot-tapping soundtrack where every number is a hit.

Leading roles are filled with aplomb. George Asprey is suave and suitably sleazy as devious lawyer Billy Flynn.

In a tale of 1920s corruption, showgirl Roxie Hart is attempting to extricate herself from an inconvenient murder charge while striving to embark on the road to stardom.

Former Brookside actress Jennifer Ellison is surprisingly impressive as the aspiring starlet. Despite not having the strongest voice, she uses her dance background to good effect, delivering a raunchy but humorous performance and combining well with Cell Block rival, double murderess and thwarted queen bee Velma Kelly, played by the sharp and sassy Dawn Spence.

South Shields-born actor and former Emmerdale fishmonger Dale Meeks also left the stage with plenty of new fans as he brought hapless husband Amos Hart to life.

Initially I was worried that the orchestra, consuming a large part of the stage, wouldn't leave enough room for the performance but this fear was soon dispelled as musical director Stuart Calvert and his 13-strong band became very much part of the show.

Chloe Griffiths

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