In the same week the show celebrates its eighth anniversary, Darius Danesh, of ITV’s Pop Idol and Pop Stars fame, has been announced as the next Billy Flynn in Chicago at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre, while three current stars have extended their contracts into the new year.

Singer Danesh, who had a hit with his song “Colourblind”, will make his West End debut when he joins current cast members Award winner Sally Ann Triplett as Roxie, Amra-Faye Wright as Velma and Victor McGuire as Amos (who are all now staying on to 28 January 2005) for eight weeks from 21 November 2005 to 14 January 2006.

Meanwhile, Wonder Woman Lynda Carter will leave a few days early. Instead of staying until Tuesday 22 November as originally scheduled, the American TV star’s final performance will now be on Saturday 19 November 2005.

The musical, about a wannabe jazz star turned murderess, 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. Choreography is by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse. Scenic design is by John Lee Beatty, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting by Ken Billington and sound by Rick Clarke. Chicago is directed by Walter Bobbie, with musical supervision by Rob Fisher and musical direction by Corin Buckeridge.

The show won the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production as well as the 1998 Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical. Currently playing in New York, on tour in America and South Africa, Chicago is produced in London by the Broadway producers Barry and Fran Weissler.

At the Adelphi, there was a double celebration this week, as on Monday Chicago became the longest-running show at the theatre on the Strand, and Tuesday was its eighth West End anniversary. It’s currently booking to 25 February 2006.

- by Caroline Ansdell