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James paints Chicago blue

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 21 April 2008

Duncan James, former member of four-piece boy band Blue, is the latest star lined up to play Billy Flynn in the musical Chicago at the Cambridge. James takes over the role from Maxwell Caulfield on 2 July for a limited seven-week season.

As a member of Blue from 2001-2005, James had several hit singles including the band’s debut, All Rise, followed by Too Close, Fly By II, One Love and Guilty. When the band split, James pursued a brief solo career, finding success with I Believe My Heart. He is more recently known for his television appearance on celebrity ice-dancing competition Dancing On Ice, in which he came third. He subsequently participated in the Dancing On Ice tour.

In making his stage debut in Chicago, James is following in the footsteps of former bandmate Antony Costa, who starred in the West End in Blood Brothers for nearly a year.

Chicago tells the story of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, fame-hungry showgirls with murderous intent who end up in jail. Billy Flynn is the suave, sleazy lawyer they employ to spring them from the clanger and make them famous in the process. James joins a cast that currently includes Josefina Gabrielle as Roxie, Amra-Faye Wright as Velma, Matthew Lloyd Davies as Amos Hart and Susie McKenna as Mama Morton.

The production opened in the West End in 1997 at the Adelphi and has been running at the Cambridge since April 2006. em>CB

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