The full cast has been announced for the first West End production of Chess since 1986 which stars Michael Ball as Anatoly, Alexandra Burke as Svetlana, Murray Head as The Arbiter, Tim Howar as Freddie, Cassidy Janson as Florence and Philip Browne as Molokov. The epic musical love story opens at the London Coliseum on 26 April 2018 (press night is 1 May) for a five-week season.
The cast also includes Sabrina Aloueche, Robin Bailey, Sarah Bakker, Jeremy Batt, Kimberley Blake, Sophie Camble, Cellen Chugg Jones, Jordan Lee Davies, Jonathan David Dudley, Richard Emerson, Callum Evans, Chris Gage, Matt Harrop, Jack Horner, Stevie Hutchinson, Nicholas Lee, Sinead Long, Robbie McMillan, Jo Morris, Jennifer Robinson, Jo Servi, Alexandra Waite-Roberts, Carrie Willis, Stuart Winter, Chris Gardner, Matthew Walker and Joe Watkins.
This is the fourth production in collaboration with English National Opera by Michael Linnit and Michael Grade, who brought Sunset Boulevard, Carousel and Sweeney Todd to the London Coliseum, the home of ENO. Linnit and Grade also produced 42nd Street, currently playing at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Chess was written in 1984 by ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King, Evita), and the original London production starred Elaine Paige, Murray Head and Tommy Korberg.
That production, which ran for three years at the Prince Edward Theatre, followed a highly successful recording featuring the same stars, and included the international hit singles ‘I Know Him So Well’ and ‘One Night In Bangkok’.
Featuring English National Opera’s award-winning Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by John Rigby with choreography by Stephen Mear, this new West End production is directed by Laurence Connor, whose recent credits include School of Rock and Miss Saigon on Broadway and in the West End, Les Misérables on Broadway, and the international Jesus Christ Superstar arena tour.