PREVIEW: Chess, London Coliseum

Tim Rice’s musical is heading back to London, being revived by the ENO for a run at the London Coliseum from the 26th April 2018. 


The musical, written by Tim Rice and ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, originally started out as a concept album in 1984 and features the songs he songs “I Know Him So Well”, “Anthem” and “One Night in Bangkok”.

Chess was then transformed into a stage show, premiering in the West End in May 1986 at the Prince Edward Theatre, directed by Trevor Nunn and starring many of those who featured on the original concept album such as Anthony Head, Grania Renihan and Ria Jones. The production ran until April 1989.

Two of the world’s greatest chess masters, one American, one Russian, are in danger of becoming the pawns of their governments as their battle for the world title gets under way. Simultaneously their lives are thrown into further confusion by a Hungarian refugee, a remarkable woman who becomes the centre of their emotional triangle. This mirrors the heightened passions of the political struggles that threaten to destroy lives and loves.

The cast for this revival will include Michael Ball as Anatoly, Freddie’s Soviet Russian challenger in the titular Cold War-era chess championship, while X Factor winner and former The Bodyguard star Alexandra Burke has been cast as Svetlana, his estranged wife. Cassidy Janson meanwhile will play  Florence, Freddie’s presumed lover. They will be performing alongside Murray Head and Tim Howar.

This new production of the musical will be directed by Laurence Connor, whose recent credits include School of Rock and Miss Saigon on Broadway and in the West End, Les Misérables on Broadway, and the international Jesus Christ Superstar arena tour.  Chess will also feature choreography by Stephen Mear.

Chess will play at the London Coliseum from the 26th April until the 2nd June. To book tickets click here or visit:, See, Love, Theatre Tickets, Encore Tickets or Last

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