Olympics Gold Medallist Robin Cousins stars on the West End stage as Billy Flynn in the musical CHICAGO at the Garrick Theatre from tonight, 17 July, 10 days ahead of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. He will be in the show until 8 September, the day before the final day of the Paralympics.
Robin won Gold in the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, also 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, in Cinderella 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. At the same time as starring in CHICAGO, Robin will also be mentoring the British Synchronised Swimming Team at this year’s Olympics.
Robin Cousins says, “Joining the cast of CHICAGO as Billy Flynn will be an amazing experience and is a dream role for many actors. Doing the show at a time when the world’s best athletes are here for the greatest sporting event on earth will make it even more thrilling.”
Prior to Robin joining CHICAGO, David Bedella has returned to the role of Billy Flynn for a limited season until 12 May. He will be joining Sarah Soetaert as Roxie Hart, Rachel McDowall as Velma Kelly, James Doherty as Amos Hart, Jasna Ivir as Mama Morton and R. Whitehead as Mary Sunshine. Billy Flynn is a role David Originally played at the Cambridge Theatre early last year. After acting in the United States for 21 years, he made his London debut in 2002, creating the role of Warm-Up Man/Satan in Jerry Springer - The Opera at The National Theatre and then in the West End. He won the 2004 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He went on to play the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Frank N Furter in the UK Touring and West End productions of The Rocky Horror Show. David starred opposite Josh Groban and Idina Menzel in Chess in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 2008. Most recently, David played the lead role of Wilson Mizner in Stephen Sondheim’s Road Show at the Menier Chocolate Factory. David’s film credits include Alexander, Batman Begins and Red Light Runners.
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.