Chicago

Date 23rd February 2019
Society Acorn Theatre Company
Venue Batley Town Hall
Director Cev Barker
Musical Director John Turnbull
Choreographer Sarah Barker

Report

Author: Les Smith

Chicago is a classic tale of love and how things can go horribly wrong within it, as we know the majority of this story this takes place inside a women’s prison focussing on a group of six inmates but primarily with two of them, Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart. These two were portrayed expertly by Hayley Thompson and Lois Horsfall who were both able to get the most out of the script and songs; they also worked extremely well together to give the final result.

When Roxie’s boyfriend, Fred Caseley played by Dom Hibbin, decides he is going to leave her she decides to shoot him and put the blame on her husband, the insignificant Amos Hart played by Jordan Barker who was perfect. Jordan’s singing of Mr Cellophane was excellent, very understated just as it should be to give the best effect.

When Velma and Roxie go into prison they meet some other inmates, Liz, Annie, June, Hunyak and Mona played by Sarah Barker, Caitlin Magee, Kirstie Turnbull, Katie Wilkinson and Fiona Haddock respectively who all joined forces to give a perfect rendition of The Cell Block Tango which the audience loved.

As the story unfolds Roxie decides she needs a lawyer, in comes Billy Flynn who has a reputation for being able to get pretty girls off the hook in court. Billy was played superbly by Richard Longbottom and when he was introduced to the audience with his song, All I Care About is Love he went down a storm as did all the girls in his entourage.

When Billy and Roxie hold a press conference it is before all the members of the press including one Mary Sunshine who is well known for her stories from the court room, this character is usually played by a man and here was no different being played by Cev Barker who not only did this but also expertly directed this piece.

I mentioned Cev Barker as the director who joined forces with Sarah Barker as the choreographer and John Turnbull as MD to provide a first class production, I especially liked the use of a turntable at stage right which was used very effectively for some quick scene changes.

Massive congratulations to Sarah, Cev, John and everybody involved in this production.