Russell Watson to star in Chicago when smash hit musical comes to Milton Keynes Theatre

World renowned singing sensation who has collaborated with Pavarotti and Paul McCartney to play Billy Flynn

Monday, 29th November 2021, 10:56 am

World renowned singing sensation Russell Watson is to star in the role of ‘Billy Flynn’ when the international smash hit musical Chicago heads to Milton Keynes Theatre in 2022.

Russell joins Faye Brookes as ‘Roxie Hart’ and Djalenga Scott as ‘Velma Kelly’ when the show takes to the stage from Tuesday, March 8 to Saturday, March 12.

Russell Watson is regarded as one of the world’s greatest classical singers, having released ten critically acclaimed studio albums. His debut album, ‘The Voice’ held the number one chart position in the UK for a record-breaking 52 weeks. Throughout his extensive career Watson has collaborated with Meatloaf, Lionel Richie, Paul McCartney, Alexandra Burke, and Luciano Pavarotti.

Russell Watson to star as Billy Flynn in the smash hit musical Chicago which is coming to Milton Keynes Theatre in March 2022

He recently appeared as a contestant on the 12th series, and castle edition, of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here. His stage credits include Parson Nathaniel in Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds on tour and Karl Oscar in the English speaking world premiere of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’ Kristina at Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids.

Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, Chicago’s sexy, sassy score includes the show-stopping songs “Razzle Dazzle”, “Cell Block Tango”, and “All That Jazz”. Winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, Chicago is the longest running American musical in Broadway and West End history.

Since it opened in New York in 1996, Chicago has played in 36 countries worldwide and has been performed in English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, French, Danish, Japanese and Korean. Worldwide it has been seen by an estimated 33 million people, grossed over $1.7 billion and played over 32,500 performances.

The cast also features Faye Brookes as Roxie Hart with Djalenga Scott asDjalenga Kelly

Chicago, which is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1996 Broadway revival of Chicago was choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse, directed by Walter Bobbie, and produced by Barry and Fran Weissler.

The cast also includes Ishmail Aaron, Michelle Andrews, Gabby Antrobus, Delycia Belgrave, Joel Benjamin, Tanisha-Mae Brown, Daniel Clift, Callum Fitzgerald, Emily Goodenough, Billie Hardy, Aaron Jenkins, Liam Marcellino, Theo Reece, Hollie Jane Stephens and Harrison Wilde.

Faye Brookes (Roxie Hart) recently reached the final of this year’s series of ITV’s Dancing On Ice. She is best known for her role as Kate Connor in ITV’s Coronation Street, for which she won a National Television Award.

Djalenga Scott’s (Velma Kelly) West End credits include Lily St Regis in Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the New London and Chicago at the Adelphi, Cambridge and Garrick Theatres.