GYPSY

07 October 2014 Chichester Festival Theatre


I've probably annoyed everyone and anyone that has seen my tweets since earlier on this year when I found out Lara Pulver was going to be returning to Chichester Festival Theatre, and alongside Imelda Staunton and Kevin Whately in the musical, Gypsy. I probably would have gone to see whatever it was that Lara was in, as Chichester is a theatre a little nearer to me than the London ones. But when I found out it was Gypsy? Well, I was sold. Lara Pulver has a set of lungs on her, and I got a bit too giddy at the thought that I was going to be seeing her in theatre, in my first musical.

And what a musical to start with. Once I'd bought the ticket, I soon checked out the 1962 film and the 1993 TV movie and personally liked both, but seeing it played out in front of my very eyes was fantastic.
- Baby June and Baby Louise were just pocket-sized adorable. Imelda Staunton (Momma Rose) appears from the audience, carrying Chowsie who is just the absolute cutest, and I'm sure everyone in the audience collectively aww-ed in some shape or form. The staging was quite cool, in the way that they'd have these small sets that would come onto the stage for each different scene.

- One of my favourite moments was the transition between Baby June and Baby Louise, and them growing up into June (Gemma Sutton), Louise (Lara Pulver) which happens when they have the Uncle Sam routine. If you are epileptic then it probably wouldn't be good for you to see as in this particular scene, the lights are flashing on and off really quick. Even my eyes were hurting a little. But then I took a moment to realise that it was Gemma and Lara now on stage, and yes, I quietly squealed in my mind to myself. You have to see the scene to see what I mean, but it was just so awesome how they done it!

- A thing I didn't expect was the voice that came out of Imelda! I knew she'd been in Sweeney Todd, but I just didn't expect her voice to be as powerful as it was. But it was a joyful surprise. I loved her portrayal as Momma Rose, and I felt it when I watched the film/TV movie, that she's only doing the best for her daughters, and yes, she sometimes acts like Louise isn't even there, but then without that, would Louise have gone on to become Gypsy Rose Lee? Who knows.

- Of all the times for me to shed tears, it was when Louise sings Little Lamb. Lara has such a gorgeous voice, and it just hit right there, you know?

- I liked the mother/daughter relationship between Momma Rose and June, but the scene when Louise has to hand her the letter June wrote...gosh I loved that entire scene. I think it's because I know that Lara said in some interview that she was so excited to be working with Imelda, and I loved seeing their relationship evolve, and crumble apart onstage, and then come back together.

- Oh my god I was in stitches at the Toreadorables scene. Louise trying to do the splits, and Momma Rose being certain that she'll be able to do it once she practices more...I was just in tears at Louise just...failing in an epic fashion. I mean, I don't even think I could try to attempt the splits at all, so...yeah. And You Gotta Get A Gimmick, good lord. The scene is great on screen and makes me chuckle, but it's even better in person.

- I am still in awe of Lara when she was singing Let Me Entertain You, once she's fully transformed into Gypsy Rose Lee. And we have to see her journey to all these different venues, performing Let Me Entertain You, and becoming more confident in her abilities etc...and it was just fantastic how it was done, and I think we need to commend Lara on how quick she did her costume changes. If I could get sorted that speedily for uni, I could have a lot more lay-ins!

- And can I just say 'hot damn' at Imelda's version of Rose's Turn? Because HOT DAMN, I loved it. I am probably being biased to other versions of it, but I freakin' adored it.

- Kevin Whately was good, but I kind of went mainly for Lara and Imelda...so obviously my attention was more on them. He was good as Herbie though. All in all, I loved Gypsy and I am so glad that it was the first musical I went to see. If I didn't have uni, I would definitely go and see it again! But I'm happy I got to see it, and on opening night too! When it came to the cast coming out onto stage at the end, I got strangely emotional...then Kevin turned around to signal that Lara was coming onto stage and everyone was cheering, then her, Kevin and the entire cast turned because Imelda was coming out, and literally everyone in the theatre took to their feet, and we didn't stop clapping for ages. Imelda looked so happy and overcome with how everyone was reacting, it was really sweet. Also, if Lara was to ever have her hair cut shorter, the longish bob she was rocking in the show would look so fabulous.

So yes, I shall be going to more musicals in future.

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