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Gemma Collins pulls out of Chicago a week before Sunderland Empire debut

Reality TV personality Gemma Collins has pulled out of Chicago a week before her musical theatre debut on the Sunderland Empire stage.

Thursday, 26th May 2022, 3:02 pm

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Earlier this year, it was announced that Gemma, who rose to fame on ITV show TOWIE, was due to razzle dazzle audiences as Mama Morton in the acclaimed UK and Ireland tour of the international smash hit musical Chicago.

She was to join the tour at the Sunderland Empire from Tuesday, May 31 2022, ahead of playing Cardiff New Theatre, Blackpool Winter Gardens, Sheffield Lyceum, Norwich Theatre Royal and New Theatre, Oxford.

However, just a week before opening night, Gemma’s had to pull out of the show due to an injury.

Gemma Collins was due to feature in Chicago

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A spokesperson for the show’s producers 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.”

The show must go on, however, and will be running at Sunderland Empire from May 31 to June 4.

Lee Mead will play the role of Billy Flynn in the musical and joins Faye Brookes as Roxie Hart, Djalenga Scott as Velma Kelly, Jamie Baughan as Amos Hart and B.E. Wong as Mary Sunshine.

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her.

CHICAGO. Lee Mead 'Billy Flynn'. Photo by Matt Crockett

Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.

Gemma Collins is best known as a media personality and businesswoman, having first featured in the reality series The Only Way Is Essex.

She was awarded the 2021 winner of the Best Female Personality at the National Reality Television Awards. Since ‘Essex’ Gemma has appeared in numerous television shows including, I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!, Celebrity Big Brother, Dancing on Ice and All Together Now in which she was a finalist.

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