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Michael Ball and Alexandra Burke to star in ENO's Chess?

The cast is yet to be officially announced

Alexandra Burke, Michael Ball and Cassidy Janson
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus' hit musical Chess returns to the West End in April, but producers have yet to call checkmate with their highly anticipated cast.

However, according to multiple sources, the production is due to star West End legend Michael Ball as Anatoly Sergievsky and X Factor winner Alexandra Burke as Svetlana Sergievsky. Joining them is said to be Tim Howar (Rock of Ages) as Frederick Trumper, Cassidy Janson (Beautiful) as Florence Vassy and Murray Head, who returns to the show to play The Arbiter, having originated the role of Frederick in the show's 1986 West End premiere.

The cast is yet to be officially announced, however Andersson has tweeted to confirm the casting news.

Ball's recent theatre credits include the Chichester Festival Theatre productions of Sweeney Todd and Mack and Mabel, while Burke's stage roles include The Bodyguard and Sister Act. She was also a runner-up in the 15th series of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

Directed by Laurence Connor (School of Rock, Miss Saigon), with choreography by Stephen Mear, the show will open at the Coliseum in April for a five-week run.

The musical first began life as a concept album in 1984 before opening in the West End in 1986 starring Tommy Körberg and Elaine Paige.

Set against the backdrop of Cold War anxiety, the piece charts the one-upmanship between two chess players, Freddie Trumper and Anatoly Sergievsky. It features songs including "One Night in Bangkok" and "I Know Him So Well".

Chess runs at the London Coliseum from 1 May to 2 June 2018, with previews from 26 April.

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