TOWIE star Gemma Collins has withdrawn from the UK & Ireland tour of Chicago The Musical, it has been announced.
Producers issued a statement run in The Independent that said: “Gemma Collins’ management have informed the producers of Chicago she will no longer be appearing in the UK tour of the show due to a knee injury. The producers of Chicago wish Gemma all the best for the future.”
Initially set to make her musical stage debut playing Mamma Morton in Sunderland next week, she had been booked to play dates in Cardiff New Theatre, Blackpool Winter Gardens, Sheffield Lyceum, Norwich Theatre Royal and New Theatre, Oxford
Gemma Collins is famous for appearing in the reality series The Only Way Is Essex, and won Best Female Personality at the National Reality Television Awards in 2021. She has appeared in numerous TV shows including, I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!, Celebrity Big Brother, Dancing on Ice and All Together Now, plus documentary Gemma Collins: Self-Harm & Me.
Collins’ was announced for the role back in March after weeks of wild speculation on social media. At the time it raised a few eye-brows in the theatre community however Producer David Ian said they “were completely stunned by Gemma’s audition”. It’s not the first or last time producers have drafted in ‘stars’ to sell tickets.
The tour continues across dates into 2022, with Lee Mead also recently announced as joining the show.
The rest of the Chicago cast includes Faye Brookes as ‘Roxie Hart’, Djalenga Scott as ‘Velma Kelly’, Jamie Baughan as ‘Amos Hart’ and B.E. Wong as ‘Mary Sunshine’. The cast is completed by Ishmail Aaron, Michelle Andrews, Gabby Antrobus, Delycia Belgrave, Joel Benjamin, Tanisha-Mae Brown, Daniel Clift, Callum Fitzgerald, Emily Goodenough, Billie Hardy, Aaron Jenkins, Liam Marcellino, Theo Reece, Hollie Jane Stephens and Harrison Wilde.
Chicago 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 (Cabaret). The 1996 Broadway revival of Chicago was choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse, directed by Walter Bobbie, and produced by Barry and Fran Weissler.