Chicago review: Don't miss sizzling hot razzle dazzle in Norwich

Lee Mead as Billy Flynn in the national tour of Chicago the Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Lee Mead as Billy Flynn in the national tour of Chicago the Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal. - Credit: Supplied

After a sweltering day in Norwich, I didn't think it could get much hotter but the sizzlingly hot and meticulously choreographed national tour of Chicago proved me wrong.

Set in the jazz-soaked 1920s, Chicago follows Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders the man she's having an affair with.

Desperate to avoid death row, she hires the best criminal lawyer possible to help her spin her murder into a series of sensational headlines.

Djalenga Scott and the ensemble of the national tour of Chicago the Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Djalenga Scott and the ensemble of the national tour of Chicago the Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal. - Credit: Tristram Kenton

The cast of this tour is stacked with talent, bringing this classic musical to life.

Coronation Street's Faye Brookes shines as fame-hungry Roxie Hart, lacing her charisma-dripping performance with perfect comedic timing and sultry vocals.

Despite technically being the villain of her own story, Brookes' makes the role so likeable that you can't help but root for her.

Faye Brookes as Roxie Hart and Djalenga Scott as Velma Kelly in the tour of Chicago the Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Faye Brookes as Roxie Hart and Djalenga Scott as Velma Kelly in the national tour of Chicago the Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal. - Credit: Tristram Kenton

Roxie's fellow murderess Velma Kelly is played by Djalenga Scott whose pin-point dancing and killer vocals give Kelly the spotlight she rightfully deserves. 

80s star Sinitta commands the audience's attention with pure magnetism as Matron 'Mama' Morton, a role she stepped into on opening night after original cast member Brenda Edwards had to step down.

Sinitta as Matron 'Mama' Morton in the national tour of Chicago the Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Sinitta as Matron 'Mama' Morton in the national tour of Chicago the Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal. - Credit: Tristram Kenton

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Lee Mead is, not surprisingly, accomplished in his portrayal of lawyer Billy Flynn, who is prepared to do anything to get his clients acquitted. His vocals prove yet again why he won Any Dream Will Do all those years ago.

Faye Brookes as Roxie Hart, Lee Mead as Billy Flynn in the 2022 tour of Chicago the Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Faye Brookes as Roxie Hart, Lee Mead as Billy Flynn and the ensemble of the national tour of Chicago the Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal. - Credit: Supplied

Jamie Baughan plays Amos, Roxie's near-invisible husband. Baughan is pitifully funny in the sympathy-earning role, getting one of the biggest cheers for his final exit.

The ensemble carry the show, taking on the roles of reporters, jurors, and backing dancers. They commit wholeheartedly to the workout that is the show's iconic Fosse dancing, creating a spectacle that shouldn't be missed.

A big part of Chicago is the music, with the big boozy brass transporting you directly to the vaudeville cabaret shows of the 1920s.

Coronation Street's Faye Brookes and Djalenga Scott in the national tour of Chicago the Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal

Faye Brookes, Djalenga Scott and the ensemble of the national tour of Chicago the Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal. - Credit: Tristram Kenton

The talented band sits on stage, interacting with the cast throughout. When music is so integral to a show, it's a treat to see the people behind it front and centre.

Chicago is a triumph, with every element expertly crafted to create a timeless show. Run, don't walk, to see it.

Chicago runs until July 16 at the Norwich Theatre Royal, book tickets at norwichtheatre.org