Michael French Resigns From London Chicago

By James Inverne
02 May 2005

Michael French, the resident Billy Flynn in Londonís Chicago, has walked out after differences with his co-star Brooke Shields, according to a report in The Independent newspaper.



Ironically, Shields is playing Roxie Hart, who temporarily falls out with Flynn in the show after a clash of egos.

An unidentified cast member told the paper, “He [French] was complaining all through rehearsals about Brooke. He was vocal and absolutely rude. Brooke’s as nice as they come and she heard everything French was saying.” English actor Michael French is best known for his long-running roles in the U.K. television shows “EastEnders” and “Holby City.”

The report continued that French’s representatives denied any argument with Shields, and the show’s producers simply confirmed that he has resigned. The resignation must have been extremely sudden, however, since a call to the show’s telephone booking line made by Playbill.com on May 2 had a recorded message saying that both Shields and French are in the show. An operator had not been told of French’s departure.

The newspaper quotes Shields as having previously said that she only set aside a little over a week to learn the part: “I’ve only got nine days to learn the show. That’s borderline criminal, but I have to go back to the States for promotional work.”

Chicago marks Shields' London stage debut. She recently earned good reviews for her work in the New York revival of Wonderful Town.