The Gin's Still Cold And The Piano's Hot As Chicago Makes A Spectacular West End Return

Chicago, Phoenix Theatre ★★★★☆

The Gin's Still Cold And The Piano's Hot As Chicago Makes A Spectacular West End Return Chicago, Phoenix Theatre 4
Photo: Tristram Kenton

Corruption, greed and murder never seem to go out of style in Chicago. The musical returns to the West End after a six year hiatus. It’s pretty much the same show, but still a hell of a ride. The show oozes sex, rhythm and sensuality. If you’re not familiar with the show other than the gelded movie with Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta-Jones, you’re in for a treat. If you’ve seen it all before you can lie back and enjoy the performances by Sarah Soetaert and Josefina Gabrielle as the merry murderesses Roxie and Velma.

Photo: Tristram Kenton

On trial for murder and desperate for fame, they manage to make this show their own with a combination of naughtiness and fear as they stare at unsuspecting members of the audience. Ruthie Henshall as the prison Matron ‘Mama’ Morton gives it class, and Cuba Gooding Jr as the slick lawyer gives it the star treatment. The ensemble and the music are hot too. Sharp and cynical to the end, the laughs take on new meaning when Roxie and Velma say at the end they’re living proof about what a wonderful country America is. 1920s Chicago seems like Trump country. This is a musical for grown ups.

Chicago, Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Road, WC2H OJP, £20-£150, until 6 October 2018.

Last Updated 20 April 2018