“You gotta have a gimmick..”
So this has to be one of the most widely talk and raved about West End shows this season.
An iconic show with a stella cast gracing the Savoy Theatre in the West End for the first time in over 40 years, walking into the auditorium I had big expectations for the revival of Gypsy.
For those of you that don’t know Gypsy was a musical created in 1959, loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist. The show focuses on her mother Rose and follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business . A film was then later made in 1962 staring Rosalind Russell as Rose.
Now on with the show..
So first things first we have to discuss Imelda Staunton, a true British talent. Up until now she has always been Dolores Umbridge ( from Harry Potter ) to me but not any more. Staunton plays the role of Rose, and is the epitome of a pushy stage mum who wants nothing more for her daughters then for them to be stars. Living out her frustrated dreams we see the toll in which a travelling family in the showbiz industry can have. Funny, endearing, emotional, tragic, Staunton showcases it all as Rose . Although at times I felt her performance was ever so slightly self indulgent, she was amazing. A give all performance, I don’t how she gets through 8 shows a week.
The children performers in this show are great. For me Matilda is the West End children talent house show for me but these kids made me second guess that. Although only in it for the majority of the first act they set the story. Baby June was fantastic, tap dancing on pointe and high kicking like a Rockette matched equally by her acting and singer skills. Baby Louise was the perfect partner with a comedic dry sense of humour.
Other mentions go to Lara Pulver who plays the role of Lousie or Gypsy Rose Lee. Blossoming from her awkward child stage earlier in the show to a seductively sexy performer. The relationship between Staunton and Pulver is that of a mother and daughter, showing every high and every low that comes from not only the lifestyle of showbiz but that of family.
The stripper trio scene made up of Anita Louise Combe, Louise Gold and Julie Legrand is a show highlight. Singing the iconic song ” You gotta have a gimmick” the audience where in hysterics as the three ladies paraded around stage in deflated stripper fashion.
The ensemble are a beautiful assist to the show. Filling up production numbers when needed or having break out moments of their own.
A beautifully vaudeville style show, with all things variety and cabaret/burlesque thrown in accompanied by a great upbeat orchestra. Definitely make sure to catch it before it closes on November 28th.
Learn more about the show and book tickets here :