Imelda Staunton leads a stellar cast as the indomitable Mama Rose in Gypsy at Chichester Festival Theatre this autumn.
The production, directed by Jonathan Kent, reunites key members of the cast and creative team that staged Chichester’s award-winning production of Sweeney Todd which went on to enjoy an acclaimed West End run.
Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, Gypsy is considered by many to be the greatest of the Broadway musicals.
It tells the story of ambitious showbiz mother Mama Rose who treks across America with her daughters Baby June and Louise in search of success with their homespun vaudeville act.
As times change, Mama Rose is forced to accept the demise of vaudeville and the rise of burlesque, as well as her daughters’ quest for autonomy.
The book is by Arthur Laurents whose credits include West Side Story, La Cage Aux Folles, Rope and The Way We Were.
Music is by Jule Styne whose roster of classic songs include Don’t Rain on My Parade, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! and Three Coins in A Fountain.
Lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim whose numerous credits include Sweeney Todd, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Company, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Into The Woods, West Side Story and Assassins.
Imelda Staunton plays Mama Rose, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest female musical roles.
Her theatre credits include Good People, also directed by Jonathan Kent, the West End production of Entertaining Mr Sloane, Life x 3 and Guys and Dolls.
Lara Pulver plays Louise. She previously appeared at Chichester in Uncle Vanya. Other theatre credits include Parade for which she received an Olivier Award nomination, Honk! and Into The Woods.
Kevin Whately makes his Chichester debut in the role of Herbie.
Although well known for his screen roles in Lewis and Inspector Morse, as well as Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, he has appeared on stage most recently in the West End production of Twelve Angry Men.
Gemma Sutton plays June. Credits include Carousel, Blues in the Night and the forthcoming TV drama, Cilla.
The large cast also features Dan Burton, Jimmy Chisholm, Jack Chissick, Anita Louise Combe, Harry Dickman, Roger Dipper, Louise Gold, Clare Halse, Tom Hodgkins, Kieran Jae, Julie Legrand, Jane McMurtrie, Danielle Morris, Jack North, Damien Poole, Lauren Varnham and Natalie Woods.
Gypsy runs in the Festival Theatre from October 6 – November 8.