Henshall Returns to London Chicago as Velma KellyDate: 28 March 2003
West End diva Ruthie Henshall, who originated the role of Roxie Hart in the current West End revival of Chicago, returns to the musical this summer - nearly six years later - to take on the role of fellow murderess Velma Kelly. From 16 June 2003, Henshall will play a limited 12-week season at the Adelphi Theatre.
When she first appeared in Chicago, Henshall was nominated for an Olivier for Best Actress in a Musical, competing against co-star Ute Lemper who went on to win the award for her performance as Velma Kelly, a role which Henshall went on to tackle soon after on Broadway.
In total, Henshall has been nominated four times for an Olivier, winning in 1995 for her portrayal of Amalia Balash in She Loves Me. Her other West End musical credits include Les Miserables, Oliver!, Cats, Miss Saigon, Crazy for You and, most recently, Peggy Sue Got Married.
Now playing Velma Kelly in the London production of Chicago is Tiffany Graves. The current cast also includes Linzi Hateley (as Roxie), Rolf Saxon (Billy Flynn), Zee Asha (Mama Morton) and Norman Pace (Amos Hart).
Chicago, 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. Scenic design is by John Lee Beatty, costumes by William Ivey Long, lighting by Ken Billington and sound by Rick Clarke. Musical supervision is by Rob Fisher and musical direction by Marcus Savage. The production is choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse and directed by Walter Bobbie.
The musical opened at the Adelphi in November 1997 and went on to win the 1998 Olivier for Outstanding Musical Production and the 1998 Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. It's currently booking at the Adelphi up to 31 January 2004, while a separate touring production continues its extensive UK-wide schedule.
- by Terri Paddock