Ruthie Henshall will become the only British actress to have played all three leading female roles in Chicago, as further casting for the show’s London return has been revealed.
Henshall has been cast as the corrupt Mama Morton, having previously been Olivier Award-nominated for her role as Roxie Hart in 1998, and having starred as Velma Kelly on Broadway in 1999. She is joined by Sarah Soetaert (who played Roxie in Chicago’s last West End run) as Hart, and Josefina Gabrielle (who also played Roxie) as Velma Kelly, along with the previously announced Cuba Gooding Jr, making his West End debut as smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn.
Set in prohibition Chicago, the show tells the story of two rival performers – and murderesses – locked up in the same County Jail, and satirises corruption within the criminal justice system. Expect sexy, sassy and dangerously seductive songs, dance and events to unfold.
The announcement is another landmark in Henshall’s glittering musical theatre career of four decades, which begun with Cats at the New London Theatre, and includes Miss Saigon, Les Misérables, Oliver!, She Loves Me (for which she won an Olivier Award), and, most recently, Billy Elliot.
Soetaert’s other theatre work includes Cats, Carousel, On The Town and The Sound Of Music, while Gabrielle has previously starred in Trevor Nunn’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at the National Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway. Further casting is to be announced.
Following a successful UK and international tour, and after a five-and-a-half-year absence from London, Chicago, the winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, will begin performances at the Phoenix Theatre from Monday 26 March.