A TEAM of amateur actors and actresses will be offering their own take on a smash hit musical show.

The Essex Group is staging a production of Bob Fosse’s Chicago at Witham Public Hall from October 2-5.each day between Wednesday, October 2 and Saturday 5.

The group stages four shows a year as well as the annual pantomime and this year they is one of the first groups in Essex to perform the musical classic, which has just finished in the West End after 15 years.

Set during the roaring 20s, Chicago tells the story of two rival woman locked up in Cook County Jail for murder.

Nightclub star Velma is serving time for killing her husband and sister after finding them in bed together, while chorus girl Roxie has been tossed in the joint for bumping off the lover she’s been cheating on her husband with.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Velma enlists the help of prison matron Mama Morton and slickster lawyer Billy Flynn, who turn Velma’s incarceration into a murder-of-the-week media frenzy and preparing the world for a splashy showbiz comeback.

But not to be outdone, Roxie has other ideas and starts to show off a few tricks of her own.

Director and founder of the upcoming show Gary Sullivan admits he is excited to be able to put together a show which has been restricted to the West End. He said: “Whilst it’s running in the West End, local theatre companies aren’t allowed to perform it.

“Our music is being provided by a 23-piece orchestra from America.

“Oviously we can’t fit a 23-piece orchestra into the hall so they are recording the tracks in the studio and then we have started rehearsing to them.

“The show was cast entirely from scratch, including open auditions for dancers, of which they now have 17 professional dancers who are ready to grace the stage.

“We just want people to come and see it. We don’t get any funding, we run purely on ticket sales, so we are always hoping for a big crowd to come.”

Shows are gets underway each evening at 7.30pm, with a 2.30pm Saturday matinee. and a matinee performance will also take place on Saturday, October 5 at 2.30pm.

Tickets are £20 onTo book, contact 01376 567677 or from tickets2c.co.uk.