From Monday 10 September 2018, Duncan James will join the West End cast of Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre, playing the role of Billy Flynn, a role he originally played in 2008. He will join Alexandra Burke as Roxie Hart, Josefina Gabrielle as Velma Kelly, Mazz Murray as Mama Morton and Paul Rider as Amos Hart. The musical is booking at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End until Saturday 5 January 2019.
Duncan James was most recently seen playing the role of Ryan in the popular Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks. For his role as Ryan, he was nominated for Most Popular Newcomer for the 2016 NTAs and is currently nominated for Best Newcomer for the 2017 Soap Awards. Duncan rose to fame as one quarter of the band Blue, which, to date, has had 40 Number One singles worldwide, three Number One UK albums and sales of over 16 million records. James’ television roles include being a presenter on Soapstar Superstar, Capital FM’s Party In The Park, City Hospital, T4, The Clothes Show and GMTV’s Entertainment Today.
He was a finalist in ITV’s Dancing On Ice in 2007, and participated in the subsequent sell-out arena tour. He made his television acting debut in Plus One for Channel 4, and further TV appearances included Grease: The School Musical for Sky 1, Eurovision: Your Country Needs You (as a judge) for BBC1, Eight Out Of Ten Cats for Channel 4, presenting The National Lottery for BBC1 on many occasions, presenting the game show Scream If You Know The Answer on Watch, and being a judge on Channel 5’s Don’t Stop Believing. His other theatre appearances include Warner Huntington III in the West End production of Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre.
Following a successful UK and international tour, and after a five and a half year absence from London, the Kander and Ebb musical, winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, began performances at the Phoenix Theatre in London on 26 March 2018, with a press night on 11 April. The current booking period is until 6 October 2018.
Since it opened in New York in 1996, Chicago has played in 36 countries worldwide, and been performed in English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, French, Danish, Japanese and Korean. It has grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide and has played over 32,500 performances worldwide, with an estimated 31 million people around the world having seen the musical. Chicago continues to play on Broadway, where it celebrated its 21st birthday last year, and around the world in multiple languages.
The show is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1996 Broadway revival of Chicago was choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse, directed by Walter Bobbie, and produced by Barry and Fran Weissler.