Halliwell dancer wins part in Chicago at Oldham Coliseum
A DANCER from Halliwell has been cast in a new interpretation of the hit musical Chicago.
Rio Samuels has gone from strength to strength since graduating from Dawson’s Academy in Bolton — and this latest production sees him starring in the show’s ensemble.
The production has started its tour at the Oldham Coliseum, which was granted the first rights produce a new take on the famous musical.
The revival will be the first of its kind since 1997’s West End run — and it has already received five-star reviews.
As well as his theatrical talents, Mr Samuels is also an award-winning dancer — he was crowned Dance Master UK in 2011 — and, the 21-year-old says he owes his success to his grandma Valerie.
Mr Samuels said: “It’s the first UK tour which has been given the rights to a new interpretation of the show since 1997.
“We’re starting off at The Oldham Coliseum and we’ve already got a five star review in a top national newspaper, which has left us all feeling really excited.”
Mr Samuels, who attended Smithills School, caught the acting bug at the age of seven, and his grandmother Valerie, aged 70, has nurtured his talent ever since.
He said: “I decided I wanted to dance after watching a TV show called Smart Guy on the Disney Channel.
“There was an episode with a tap dancer on it and I wanted to be able to do it. So my grandma took me to Dawn Dawson’s where I stayed until I was 16 when I went to college.
“I got a bit of stick while growing up from some of the lads at school, but it’s funny because now people who laughed at me then are now asking me to teach them to dance, and respect me because I do it for a living.”
As well as theatre, the actor has appeared with a number of celebrities for different shows.
Mr Samuels said: “I’ve done shows with Tina Malone from Shameless, Michael Starke from Brookside, and was part of the support act for the boyband Blue, which was amazing.”
The modest performer is classically trained in modern, ballet, tap and street.
He said: “I owe my grandma so many favours for taking me to shows and auditions and to my acting agent in Manchester, as well as helping to fund expenses.
“She’s always supported me in whatever decision I made. I couldn’t have done it without her.”
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