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Dancing on Ice judge Robin Cousins joins Chicago, Bedella returns

Dancing on Ice judge and Olympic gold medallist Robin Cousins will return to the West End stage, playing lawyer Billy Flynn in Chicago at the Garrick Theatre from 17 July to 8 September 2012.

Cousins won a gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York after which he pursued a career as a professional skater before an injury forced him to give up in 2000 and he became a choreographer.

Cousins has previously appeared as Munkustrap in Cats, Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Show and Teen Angel in Grease.

His break into musical theatre came in 1990, in Cinderella on Ice, when he starred as the Prince opposite Adolph Green and Phyllis Newman at The Muny in St Louis.

Named BBC Sports Personality of the Year after his 1980 Olympic victory, he has been head judge on ITV’s Dancing on Ice for the past six years.

Cousins will take over as Billy Flynn following the return of David Bedella to the role. Bedella played Flynn in 2011 and will play a limited season to 12 May 2012 before he opens as drag queen Arnold Beckoff in Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 12 June 2012 (previews from 30 May).

Bedella joins Sarah Soetaert as Roxie Hart, Rachel McDowall as Velma Kelly, James Doherty as Amos Hart, Jasna Ivir as Mama Morton and R Whitehead as Mary Sunshine.

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 production, 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.

Chicago won the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production as well as the 1998 Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical. The show's West End production moved from the Cambridge to the Garrick Theatre in November 2011 to make way for Matilda the Musical.


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