Another month, another theatre trip! I made a vow this year to not turn down a single offer to go to the theatre, as it is my first passion in life, and something that I don’t do enough. So, this month it was Chicago at The Mayflower. I have once tried to watch the film starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zelleweger with my girlfriends, but failed miserably. I got completely lost in the jumpy timelines and character switches.
However, the stage show was something different altogether. I was given a basic understanding by my stepmother, who came to watch the show with me, but I think you have to see Chicago to really understand it.
John Partridge, playing Billy Flynn really stole the stage. With his charming characterisation of the famous lawyer, and breathtaking vocals, it was difficult not to be taken by his interpretation of the role.
Sam Bailey, known for winning X Factor in 2013, was (as expected) effortlessly good at singing, but a bit wooden with her portrayal of Mama Morton. I was very excited to see her onstage, but was a left a little disappointed.
The staging was exciting and different to any other stage show I’ve seen. The orchestra were onstage throughout the entire production, interacting with the audience and cast, as well as masking the central entrance/exit of the stage. The use of ladders alongside the stage provided an edgy alternative for some of the opening numbers, with cast members singing from the highest point and climbing their way up and down as an alternative to dancing.
The stand out performance of the night was ‘Cell Block Tango’, possibly the most iconic song from Chicago after ‘All That Jazz’. This song really showcased the amazing vocals of the female cast, and set the scene for the remaining scenes within the jail.
However, the highlight of the night for me actually took place on social media. Most of the cast are active Twitter users, and proved this by interacting with audience members during the interval, as well as in between their appearances offstage. John Partridge comically told me that his singing is best in the shower!