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Alexandra Burke and Cassidy Janson at Chess opening night

Alexandra Burke and Cassidy Janson at Chess opening night

Watch: The stars of Chess at opening night

Robin Johnson

By Robin Johnson First Published 4 May 2018, Last Updated 4 May 2018

Chess is back with a bang. The first West End production of the show in over thirty years stars the likes of Michael Ball, Alexandra Burke, Cedric Neal, Tim Howar and Cassidy Janson, and at this week’s opening night, their incredible talents shone through.

We caught up with them after the performance.


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Chess, written in 1984 by ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King, Evita), tells a story of love and political intrigue, set against the background of the Cold War in the late 1970s/early 1980s, in which superpowers attempt to manipulate an international chess championship for political ends.

Two of the world’s greatest chess masters, one American, one Russian, are in danger of becoming the pawns of their governments as their battle for the world title gets under way. Simultaneously their lives are thrown into further confusion by a Hungarian refugee, a remarkable woman who becomes the centre of their emotional triangle. This mirrors the heightened passions of the political struggles that threaten to destroy lives and loves.

The musical is playing a limited run only – until 2 June – at the London Coliseum.

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alexandra burke cassidy janson cedric neal michael ball opening night tim howar

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