Chess

Chess is a musical with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, formerly of ABBA.

The story involves a romantic triangle between two players in a world chess championship, and a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. Although the protagonists were not intended to represent any specific individuals, the characters’ personalities resemble those of chess grandmasters Viktor Korchnoi and Bobby Fischer.

Cast & Creative

Cast List

Character Actor
Florence Emma Mclean-cook
American Bryan Cardus
Russian Paul Kirkbright
Svetlana Alison Birtle
Arbiter Thomas Butler
Molokov Bob Salter
Walter Jim Simpson
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Anna Colton
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Jan Croxson
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Michelle Fittus
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Fiona Hedger-Gourlay
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Rachel Hughes
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Anna Jones
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Helen Lowe
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Cathy Makepeace
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Deb McDowell
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Gemma Melhuish
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Stephanie Moon
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Claire O’Dell
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Faye Rogers
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Janet Simpson
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Angela Sturgeon
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Denise Truscott
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Claire Ward-Dutton
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Will Brooks
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Mark Burgess
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Tony Cotterill
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Tim Hedger-Gourlay
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Tony Makepeace
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Chris Morris
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus John Nugent
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Andrew Yeates
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Carl Smith
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Douglas Smith
Dancers, Pop Choir & Chorus Jim Trimmer

Creative Team

Role Name
Director Steve Taylor
Musical Director Martin Wilcox
Choreographer Caroline Smith
Production Manager Clare Henderson-Roe
Stage Manager Steve Gillam
Lighting Ed Pagett
Sound Paul Greenhalgh
Set designer Wesley Henderson Roe
Costume Lynne Shirley

Reviews & Awards

SWAN Awards

  • Winner SWAN Award Best Actress in a Musical – Emma Mclean-Cook
  • Winner SWAN Award Best Actor in a Musical – Paul Kirkbright

Mark Aspen - Richmond & Twickenham Times

What is the most serious game in the world : an ancient board game, or is it … politics, diplomacy, romance, with all their rivalries and intrigues ? BROS examined this question in last week’s production of Tim Rice’s musical ‘Chess’. Played out against a pulsating score by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, ‘Chess’ is an allegory on Cold War politics and passionate relationships. The story is based loosely on battles in the 1970’s on and off the board of Bobby Fischer and Soviet Grandmasters such as Spassky, Kasparov, and Korchnoi. Two Grandmasters, an American, Freddy Trumper, and a Russian, Anatoly Sergievsky, are used as major pieces in their countries’ power politics and propaganda games. Florence Vassy, a Hungarian refugee, who at the outset is Freddy’s second, falls in love with Anatoly, who then defects to the West. The board is controlled by the manipulations of KGB and CIA officers within the rank and file of the national delegation, who even sacrifice Svetlana, Anatoly’s wife, in a gambit to win him back to the Soviet side.

Click below to read full review.

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