A second Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award winner will be joining the new cast of Chicago next month. From 20 September 2004, Sharon D Clarke (pictured), who won Best Supporting Performance in a Musical last year for Queen’s We Will Rock You, will take over the prison matron Mama Morton in the Kander and Ebb musical at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre.

That’s the same day that, as previously announced (See News, 17 Aug 2004), fellow Whatsonstage.com Award-winning actor John Barrowman, who just finished his run in Anything Goes at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane this past weekend, and Hell’s Kitchen winner and Brookside actress Jennifer Ellison will join the Chicago company as lawyer Billy Flynn and murderess Roxie Hart.

In other changes, Paul Baker (Whatsonstage.com nominee and Olivier Award winner for Taboo) will return to play Amos Hart and, from 27 September, Anna-Jane Casey will return to play murderess Velma Kelly.

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. The production is choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse and directed by Walter Bobbie.

The musical opened at the West End's Adelphi Theatre in November 1997 and went on to win the 1998 Olivier for Outstanding Musical Production and the 1998 Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. Chicago is currently booking until 4 June 2005.

- by Terri Paddock