Gemma Collins stint in Chicago panned by industry bigwigs ahead of show debut

Gemma Collins’ big money stint on stage touring the nation in glitzy musical Chicago has been panned by industry bigwigs.

Theatre bosses have signed up gobby reality TV star the GC to give ticket sales a boost in the production.

But sniffy luvvies have turned on the popular Towie queen, claiming she’s depriving time-served actors out of a lucrative role.

Corrie star Wendi Peters – the Street’s Cilla Battersby – shared news of Gemma’s new role on Twitter with the message: “No words.”

Her tweet prompted a fierce debate among fans and industry workers.

Stage performer and former Hollyoaks actor Amy-Jane Ollies said: “Wow! It’s times like these I’m grateful to still be raising my little one as I’d hate to be touring in anything with that woman.

“Not least because she shouldn’t be doing the job – but she’s clearly not going to be good for company morale with her attitude!”

Musical director Peter Golding commented: “Oh God. All the incredible actresses who are out there who can sing, dance and act (& were trained) & they pick a talentless ‘personality’ (I certainly won’t use the word ‘star’).

“I saw James Argent in panto a couple of years ago – no words there either can sum up the horror.”

Another person said: “Until the industry stops condoning these castings by keeping silent nothing will change.

“I have tweeted about the unfairness to talented ensemble casts who are missing opportunities.”

The former The Only Way Is Essex star Gemma, 41, was revealed to be making her stage debut this summer as the musical tours the UK and Ireland.

The reality star, who also appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Celebrity Big Brother and Dancing On Ice, will play the iconic Mama Morton in the hit stage show.

Defending her, theatre producer David Ian said: “We were completely stunned by Gemma’s audition. She’s an undeniable force both on and off stage, and we can’t wait to see her portrayal of Mama Morton on tour.

‘“Audiences across the country are in for a treat!”

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Gemma herself retweeted lots of positive comments about the appointment earlier this week.

Gemma is set to step onto the stage for the Sunderland show on May 31, as well as several stops across the UK, including Cardiff, Blackpool, Sheffield and Norwich.

The reality star, who had training at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, will perform alongside musical theatre professionals Faye Brooks, Djalenga Scott, Jamie Baughan and B.E Wong in the acclaimed show.

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