Osbourne will play prison matron Mama Morton, the dodgy-dealing mother hen to the girls, traditionally taken by a much older actress. At just 22, she’s believed to be the youngest person to be cast in the supporting role, currently performed by Susie McKenna in the West End.
Since finding fame on MTV reality show The Osbournes, with her parents and brother Jack, Kelly Osbourne has carved out her own solo career as an actor, presenter and singer. She’s released two albums - Shut Up and Sleeping in the Nothing - and recorded the Black Sabbath duet “Changes” with her father. Her other TV credits include Project Catwalk, Turning Japanese and I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here … Now!.
Kelly’s mother and sister Aimee were due to make their West End debuts two years ago in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues but withdrew at the last minute following a family cancer scare (See News, 4 Oct 2005). Following her stint in London, Osbourne is tipped to make her US stage debut in the Broadway production of Chicago.
When she joins the West End musical, Chicago will also feature company veterans Josefina Gabrielle and Annette McLaughlin as Roxie and Velma, and briefly returning to the role of Amos Hart, Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe. There’s no confirmation yet as to who will play Billy Flynn during Osbourne’s engagement. Former Blue boyband star Duncan James is due to conclude his extended season as the superslick lawyer on 8 September (See News, 19 Jul 2007).
The current revival of Chicago opened at the Cambridge Theatre (where the musical’s original London production ran for 603 performances from April 1979) on 28 April 2006, after eight-and-a-half years at the Adelphi Theatre on the Strand. It won the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production as well as the 1998 Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical.
Kander and Ebb’s 1975 musical is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins and has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The current stage revival, which transferred from Broadway, is directed by Walter Bobbie and designed by John Lee Beatty, with choreography by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse.
- by Terri Paddock