Singer and Emmerdale actor Ian Kelsey to share role

Jimmy Osmond as Billy Flynn in Chicago

Ian Kelsey as Billy Flynn in Chicago

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Leisure and Lifestyle Editor

Jimmy Osmond is to ‘razzle dazzle’ Bradford when he stars in sexy musical Chicago, which kicks off a UK tour at the Alhambra this spring.

Jimmy – the youngest of the famous Osmond family – will share the role of smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn with Ian Kelsey, former star of Emmerdale and Casualty.

And Emma Barton, best known as Honey Mitchell in EastEnders, will play scheming murderess Roxie Hart.

The cast will rehearse at the Alhambra before a two-week run of the show at the Bradford theatre in March.

Chicago is billed as the story of “murder, greed, corruption, adultery, treachery – and all that jazz!”

Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical is a satire of corruption in the criminal justice system and the concept of the manufactured celebrity.

It’s the story of vaudeville star Velma Kelly and housewife Roxie Hart, two murderesses who end up on death row together in 1920s Chicago.

Wannabe actress Roxie shoots dead her lover when he fails to help her make it in the theatre. Velma kills her husband and sister after finding them in bed together.

To avoid the gallows, the women enlist the help of crooked lawyer Billy Flynn, who re-invents Roxie as a star by turning her trial into a media spectacle.

The show is famed for its lively score, including the numbers Razzle Dazzle and All That Jazz, and sexy Bob Fosse choreography.

The original 1975 production ran for nearly 1,000 performances on Broadway.

A long-running production on London’s West End started in 1997. The 2002 movie version, starring Catherine Zeta Jones, Renee Zellwegger and Richard Gere, won six Oscars.

On stage the role of Billy has been played by actors such as Patrick Swayze, Marti Pellow and Tony Hadley.

Stars to have played Roxie include Denise Van Outen, Claire Sweeney and Jennifer Ellison.

Jimmy Osmond was the youngest person in history to top the singles charts, aged nine, with his 1972 hit Long Haired Lover From Liverpool. He and his brothers have sold more than 100 million records.

Jimmy made his UK stage debut in Boogie Nights and was in I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! in 2005. He is appearing in Grease in the West End.

Ian Kelsey made his name as Dave Glover in Yorkshire Television soap Emmerdale. His other roles include in BBC1’s Casualty, playing Dr Patrick Spiller, and Down To Earth, and ITV police drama Blue Murder starring opposite Caroline Quentin. Ian has played Billy Flynn in the West End production of Chicago.

Emma Barton is best known as Honey, wife of Billy Mitchell, in East-Enders.

Chicago runs at the Alhambra from Monday, March 9, to Saturday, March 21. Tickets are available on (01274) 432000 or by visiting bradford-theatres.co.uk e-mail: emma.clayton@telegraphandargus.co.uk

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