The West End production of Chicago, which opened at the Adelphi Theatre on 18 November 1997 to rave reviews, has announced two major cast changes. Henry Goodman, the original slick lawyer Billy Flynn, and Ute Lemper, who plays murderess Velma Kelly, are both leaving the production. Both Goodman and Lemper were commended in this year's Laurence Olivier Awards for their roles in Chicago - Goodman lost out for Best Actor in a Musical to The Fix's Philip Quast while Lemper took home the Best Actress in a Musical award, winning over co-star Ruthie Henshall.

Accolades for the show itself include the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production and the 1998 Critics Circle Drama Award for Best Musical. Chicago has extended its sell-out London run and is now booking to 30 January 1999.

Clarke Peters will take over the role of Billy Flynn from mid-June. The role is currently being played by Cavin Cornwall, who replaced Goodman when he left the show at the end of his contract on 23 May. Peters joins the cast directly from appearing in the Almeida Theatre production of The Iceman Cometh, now transferred to the Old Vic, and from filming the new Notting Hill Film with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Peters has previously starred in many West End musicals including Five Guys Named Moe, Kiss of the Spiderwoman and the RNT's Guys and Dolls.

Nicola Hughes will play the role of Velma Kelly from Monday 13 July when Ute Lemper finishes her run. On the West End, Hughes recently appeared in Damn Yankees opposite Jerry Lewis and in Tommy.

Ruthie Henshall and Nigel Planer will continue to play the roles of Roxie and Amos Hart. 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 production is choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse and directed by Walter Bobbie.