The West End production of Chicago was due for a major change, as Denise Van Outen was going to take over the role of Velma Kelly starting on September 24th and replacing Josefina Gabrielle, who has played both Roxie and Velma in the raucous musical. Unfortunately, the actress found out on the first day of rehearsals that she had suffered a stress fracture in her heel. A spokesperson for the production confirmed that Van Outen will rejoin the production at a later date which is yet to be confirmed, and that her replacement will be announced shortly.
This won’t have been Van Outen’s first experience with Chicago, as she has previously played Roxie in the West End and Broadway renditions of the production. She will take the stage with other lead actors Alexandra Burke and Duncan James as Roxie and Billy Flynn, respectively. The London audience has taken well to the duo of Burke and James, and we anticipate that Van Outen will fit in nicely as she transforms the role of Velma.
Denise Van Outen got her start on TV, presenting the British program The Big Breakfast until 1998, when she ventured into smaller roles on multiple other TV shows. In 2001, she transitioned to the stage where she played the role of Roxie Hart in the Adelphi Theatre, in London’s West End. Her performance was impressive enough to land the same role in the Broadway production in the spring of 2002.
Considering her credentials, it should be any Chicago fan’s dream to see Van Outen performing as Velma, especially with the current cast that she’ll be joining. The show will be performed at the West End’s Phoenix Theatre until January of 2019 and tickets are currently on sale, so don’t miss your chance! Book them here: www.phoenix.londontheatres.co.uk