Oscar and BAFTA-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is set to make his stage debut in 2018, when the hit musical ‘Chicago’ returns to the West End later this year.

The 50 year old actor is tapped to play the fast-talking lawyer Billy Flynn in the production, which will be the first ever musical for the seasoned actor. ‘Chicago’ hasn’t been performed in London since 2012, but it will begin a new run at the Phoenix Theatre on March 26th this year.

Famously, ‘Chicago’ ran for 15 straight years in London, and is still on in Broadway where the production is enjoying its 21st consecutive year.

It was first staged in 1975 before it was revived to enormous success in 1996, with Richard Gere playing Cuba Gooding Jr.’s role as the lawyer in an Oscar-winning movie adaptation in 2002.

Cuba Gooding JrCuba Gooding Jr is to make his first ever appearance in a musical

He is the first big name to be announced in the new production, from what is rumoured to be an all-star cast. Last year’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ semi-finalist and former Saturdays star Mollie King is apparently set to be given a key role.

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Choreographer Ann Reinking is set to work on the project too, and will be doing so in homage to the style of ‘Chicago’s co-creator Bob Fosse.

Making his film debut in the seminal film Boyz In The Hood, Gooding Jr. has won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1996’s Jerry Maguire, and returned to prominence twenty years later with a multiple award-winning role in Ryan Murphy’s acclaimed series ‘American Crime Story: The People vs OJ Simpson’.

In terms of musical pedigree, Gooding Jr. comes from an ideal background. His father, Cuba Gooding Sr., was a singer in soul group The Main Ingredient, and his mother, Shirley Sullivan, sang with The Sweethearts.

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