Chicago at the Kings Theatre, Southsea

Katherine Ryan

REVIEW: Katherine Ryan at the Portsmouth Guildhall

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The sounds of the roaring 1920s arrived at the Kings Theatre last night as a string of well-known faces took to the stage to perform Chicago.

Strictly Come Dancing star Ali Bastian played Roxie Hart, and EastEnders’ Stefan Booth, singer Bernie Nolan, and Coronation Street’s Tupele Dorgu joined her on stage as Billy Flynn, Mama Morton, and Velma Kelly, respectively.

The iconic musical about greed and corruption followed two women who try to escape the death penalty by becoming famous for their crimes.

In her first musical, Ali Bastian looked comfortable and made a delightful double act alongside Tupele Dorgu.

Stefan Booth delivers as the swarve lawyer, while Bernie Nolan’s voice is easily recognizable as Mama Morton.

The supporting chorus notably raised the bar, performing countless characters throughout without a single costume change.

But the real stars of the show were the orchestra, situated slap bang in the middle of the stage, with the cast working around and through them.

Led by musical director Adrian Kirk, they didn’t miss a beat, transporting us to the dark and smoky jazz clubs of Chicago with favourites like All That Jazz and Razzle Dazzle.

It’s a must-see for any musical theatre fan.

Until Saturday.

MISCHA ALLEN