Performed at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2014, Gypsy opened at the Savoy Theatre in 2015, following a 40 year absence in the West End.
Given its prior success, it’s certainly no surprise that Gypsy has since announced an extended booking period to November 28, 2015. Gypsy was certainly well received by audience members, following a star-studded opening night on April 15, 2015.
Set in the roaring 1920s, Gypsy is based on the memoirs of burlesque entertainer, Gypsy Rose Lee, who travels across America alongside Momma Rose and sister June, who seek to sell their cheesy family vaudeville act. Gypsy’s comedic value is evident in the first ensemble, Let Me Entertain You, which sees a dolled up Baby June squeak alongside a more shy and endearing Louise. Curtain up and Imelda Staunton immediately became the star of the show, despite her characters frequently flawed attempts to achieve actual stardom. In reality, Mamma Rose wouldn’t be a particularly likeable character, as she is ultimately consumed by the illusion of “show business.” Yet on stage, Imelda Staunton manages to make audience members feel empathy for her character. Documenting the transition from vaudeville – a theatrical genre of variety entertainment phased out in the 1930s – Mamma Rose feels destined to see her name in lights, as the title of the production suggests. Imelda Staunton is rightly respected in the eyes of the audience, demonstrating an impressive set of vocals, which were met by a standing ovation on more than one occasion. Notably, after her powerful performance portrayed in the final number, Rose’s Turn.
Lara Pulver is perhaps more recently recognised from BBC’s Sherlock, where she played a more mature version of Irene Adler. Proving that she’s a highly versatile actress, Lara played an immensely convincing Louise, who transformed from sheltered, outshone and naive into the more confident burlesque star, Gypsy Rose Lee. Gypsy tactfully narrates the endearing and often strained relationship between Mamma Rose and Louise, which concludes the production with a sweet and uplifting sense of humanity. It certainly helped that the original cast from the Chichester Festival Theatre returned to support the ensemble, minus Kevin Whately, who was replaced by former Doctor Who star, Peter Davison, who played pushover Herbie.
Peter Davison didn’t feel like a perfect fit. In comparison to both leading ladies, he certainly didn’t have the strongest vocals, yet he remained loyal to the character, just like he remained loyal to Momma Rose. With music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Gypsy erupts with a full orchestral overture, which sets the tone for the remainder of the production. Gypsy is scheduled to run for a limited season at the Savoy Theatre until November 2015. Group bookings can be made via Ambassador Groups. Call 0844 871 7644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit www.gypsythemusical.uk