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Imelda Staunton to star in Gypsy at Chichester Festival Theatre

Imelda Staunton (Margaret) credit Manuel Harla
Imelda Staunton (Margaret) in Good People at the Noel Coward 2014 credit Manuel Harla

Imelda Staunton is to star as Mama Rose in Gypsy at the Chichester Festival Theatre, reuniting her with the team that was behind the award-winning Sweeney Todd, including director Jonathan Kent.

Lewis star Kevin Whately and Lara Pulver will also star in Gypsy, the Stephen Sondheim musical, which opens in October.

Sweeney Todd had its revival at the Chichester Festival in 2012, before transferring to the West End run, for which Imleda Staunton received an Olivier Award.

Gypsy is based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous burlesque artist.

Rose Hovick has big plans for her two little daughters. Baby June is the innocent star of her show, and across the shabby stages of far-flung American towns Mama Rose plans to keep her that way.

But year on year times are changing, June is growing up,
and the lights are going down on the cheery family acts of vaudeville. When teenaged June dramatically quits the show, desperate Rose turns her fierce attention to her other, shyer daughter, Louise.

But Louise has spent a lifetime in her sister’s shadow and doesn’t match her mother’s ambition, or fit into the tired old routine. More dubiously, vaudeville has been replaced by the riskier attractions of burlesque, and audiences are now expecting to see much more of their stars than ever before.

Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Gypsy is considered by many to be the greatest of the Broadway musicals. Featuring classics such as Let Me Entertain You, Rose’s Turn and Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Gypsy is both moving and spectacularly entertaining.

Sherlock actress Pulver returns to Chichester to play the daughter Louise following her performance in Uncle Vanya in 2012. Kevin Whately will make his Chichester debut in the role of Herbie.

Chichester Festival Theatre

Friday 12th September


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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