Former frontman of Spandau Ballet, Tony Hadley, has just made his West End debut in a limited eight-week season at the Cambridge Theatre in “Chicago” from 29th January to 24th March as superslick lawyer Billy Flynn. This is a role he’s taken over from Ian Kelsey, and stars alongside reality-stars Aoife Mulholland and Brenda Edwards as well as Annette McLaughlin and Julian Sims.
1) How did you get the part of Billy Flynn in “Chicago”?
The Producers contacted my manager to ask if I would be interested. As I had just released my new album, which was a Swing / Jazz album (which I also followed up with a big band UK and European Tour), I just felt like it was a continuation of the same theme and style – so I jumped at the chance.
2) What did you look forward to/dread the most about the first night?
I opened on Monday, and I had a mixture of nerves and excitement. I didn’t really dread anything. I am used to appearing in front of an audience – and I knew my words and moves! It all went well, and the crowd was terrific.
3) What was it like for you to come into an already established cast?
It was slightly weird to be rehearsing with the people I had just seen playing the roles a few nights previously. But it was fine – everyone is really nice and supportive. The Resident Director, Nigel, and the Dance Captain, Dean, have both been really terrific.
4) How did it compare to stand on a stage doing a musical to standing on a stage doing a concert?
I am used to performing in front of people, but of course with theatre, I can’t make up what I say as I go along – every word has to be exactly as written!! And whilst Billy Flynn doesn’t really dance, he has to “move”… so that has been a challenge!
5) What have you got lined up after you’ve finished your run in “Chicago” by the end of March?
I am off on an acoustic tour of South America, Australia and Norway.