With less than a month to go until the Team GB Synchronised Swimming Team take the plunge in London 2012, its mentor and Olympic gold medallist, Robin Cousins, starts rehearsals for his own starring role as Billy Flynn in CHICAGO at the Garrick Theatre, which he'll be performing for a limited season from 17 July.
Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici, leading members of the Team GB Synchronised Swimming Team, joined Robin and Djalenga Scott and Lauren Brooke on stage at the Garrick Theatre to wish him well with his new role.
The first Olympian ever to appear in a theatre production in the home town of the Olympics during the Olympics, Robin will not only split his time between the swimmers in the East End and the dancers in the West End, but he will run the final leg of the Olympic Torch relay into Brighton on Monday 16 July before making his debut in CHICAGO the following evening.
As part of the celebrations for the Olympics, Robin will provide a candid insight into competing at an Olympic Games at a talkback session after the matinee performance on Friday 27 July. To allow audiences the chance to catch the Olympic Opening ceremony,CHICAGO has specially rearranged its performance schedule to 2pm & 7pm on Friday 27 July.
Robin Cousins won Gold in the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, picking up the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year the same year. This was followed by a successful career as a professional skater, before finally being forced through injury to hang up his skates in 2000, when he became a full-time choreographer. His break into musical theatre came in 1990, inCinderella on Ice, when he starred as the Prince opposite Adolph Green and Phyllis Newman at The Muny in St Louis. His British stage roles include Munkustrap in Cats, Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Show and Teen Angel in Grease. He has been head judge on ITV's Dancing on Ice for the past six years.
Now the most successful Broadway export ever and the world's longest running American musical, as well as the West End's longest running revival, the multi award-winning musical CHICAGO opened at the Garrick Theatre on 7 November 2011.
CHICAGO originally opened at the Adelphi Theatre on 18 November 1997 to rave reviews and immediately became a sell-out hit. CHICAGO won the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for 'Outstanding Musical Production' as well as the 1998 Critics Circle Drama Award for 'Best Musical'. CHICAGO transferred from the Adelphi Theatre to the Cambridge Theatre in April 2006, where it ran for five years until 27 August 2011.
CHICAGO, which 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. CHICAGO is choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse and directed by Walter Bobbie. The West End production of CHICAGO is staged by the entire original Broadway creative team. CHICAGO is produced in London by the Broadway producers Barry and Fran Weissler.
For more information, visit www.chicagothemusical.co.uk.