2* REVIEW CHESS Starring Ball & Burke

Review CHESS Starring Michael Ball & Alexandra Burke 2018…

CHESS, may well be promoted as “the epic love story” by ABBA & Tim Rice – amid the tensions of a world championship chess match – but I left totally confused, bored, disheartened, raped of £125 and bewildered.

It opened tonight at the London Coliseum by the English National Opera for a strictly limited 5 week run. Thank Christ. Put this fabulous cast and musicians out of their misery.

A sensational orchestra (magnificent), a huge and talented cast, a stunning set, glorious choreography – all wasted on this hideously tedious, indulgent and repetitive score with a laborious story, inaudible lyrics and a mind-numbing plot.

I felt nothing.

Can you believe I actually wasted over 10 minutes of my life watching Michael Ball play CHESS IN SILENCE….twice. What’s worse – I love Ball and it kills me not to celebrate this legendary show.

Here’s my problem with CHESS…

Why in 2018 are the HUGE (dominating) video screens 1 second behind the audio????? Don’t use Live audio/video tech if it can’t sync. Unforgivable. Distracting – ruined the entire show.

Alex Burke (best voice in the show) appeared once for just 3.5 minutes in, the never ending 80 minute, Act 1. Insanity. What a waste.

Sadly Tim Howar left me cold. It was painful over delivery/singing at times crossing rock into screaming.

I left at the interval. I couldn’t waste another second on this show. Comparing this with last years Carousel would be like comparing a Michelin Star dinner with McDonalds.

£125 a ticket my arse. An insult to the mostly talented cast. PR abuse of the punters selling it on stars who barely appear.

The Coliseum should be ashamed. Michael Ball was amazing but outside of Anthem couldn’t shine.

To add insult to injury I wasted £35 on taxi’s. Imagine the fun I could have had in Soho with a grand total of £155??????…..CHECKMATE.


Enjoy our HD Audio / Video review via Chess:

This ‘celebrity driven’ production follows the huge success of Katherine Jenkins & Alfie Boe in Carousel last spring.

That production, which ran for three years at the Prince Edward Theatre, followed a highly successful recording featuring the same stars, and included the international hit singles I Know Him So Well and One Night In Bangkok.

Other well-known songs from the score include Anthem, Someone Else’s Story, Heaven Help my Heart and Pity The Child.

The musical, written in 1984 by ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and Tim Rice.

It tells a story of love and political intrigue, set against the background of the Cold War in the late 1970s/early 1980s, in which superpowers attempt to manipulate an international chess championship for political ends.


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.

Preview uploaded by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 14th Feb 2018

Leave a Comment