Sam Bailey moves from fairies to prison cells as she takes on new role in Chicago at New Theatre, Oxford


Following her hugely successful run as Fairy Bowbells in the Waterside panto Dick Whittington, X Factor winner Sam Bailey makes a quick return to the stage in a very different role.

Sam, who worked as a prison officer prior to her spectacular success on X Factor, stars as Mama Morton, the matron of the Cook County Jail, in a national tour of Chicago.

Stopping off at New Theatre, Oxford for a week in February, the show features a sexy, sassy musical score including All That Jazz and Razzle Dazzle.

Chicago is set in Prohibition-era Chicago and the musical is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins about actual criminals and crimes she reported on.

The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the “celebrity criminal” and is based on real life events back in the roaring 1920s.

The protagonists are nightclub singer Roxie Hart, a wannabe vaudevillian and murderess who kills her lover after a spat and is sent to jail; Velma Kelly, a vaudevillian and murderess who is on trial for killing her cheating husband and sister; and lawyer Billy Flynn who represents them both and who has a perfect track record and makes celebrities of his clients to win sympathy and sway public opinion.

His fight is to keep both of his clients from death row.

Mary Sunshine is the reporter who follows both trials.

Chicago will be at New Theatre at 7.30pm from Friday February 12 through to Saturday 20, with additional matinees at 2.30pm on Wednesday and Saturdays.

Tickets cost from £15 and are available from the box office in George Street or on 0844 871 3020 or online at