Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 4°C

Search

Curtain up... light the lights!

PUBLISHED: 08:32 22 June 2017 | UPDATED: 08:32 22 June 2017

Appeal Theatre Group stage Gypsy at Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre, June 21-24. Picture: JONATHAN TERRY

Appeal Theatre Group stage Gypsy at Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre, June 21-24. Picture: JONATHAN TERRY

Archant

Gypsy, by Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents, presented by Appeal Theatre Group at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich until Saturday, June 24

Appeal Theatre Group stage Gypsy at Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre, June 21-24.Picture: JONATHAN TERRY Appeal Theatre Group stage Gypsy at Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre, June 21-24.Picture: JONATHAN TERRY

Gypsy, music by Jule Styne, lyrics Stephen Sondheim, book Arthur Laurents, is presented by Appeal Theatre Group at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, until Saturday, June 24

Noel Coward entreated Mrs Worthington not to put her daughter on the stage but it was advice blithely ignored by ultimate pushy showbiz mother, Rose, who puts both her daughters on the stage.

The musical, based loosely on the memoirs of striptease artiste Gypsy Rose Lee, tells of her mother’s endeavours to make her little girls stars. Mama Rose pays most attention to saccharine-in-satin Baby June with her signature (you soon get to know it) Let Me Entertain You, while Louise is designated the one with no talent.

Apart from the costumes the sisters’ Vaudeville act changes little over the years... except that the boys in the chorus start shaving and singing baritone. There is a clever musical transition when the children turn into teenagers.

Appeal Theatre Group stage Gypsy at Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre. Picture: JONATHAN TERRY Appeal Theatre Group stage Gypsy at Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre. Picture: JONATHAN TERRY

This acclaimed musical, with its story of ambition, fame and failure, has some great numbers including evergreens such as Everything’s Coming Up Roses and Together (Wherever We Go).

When June rebels, marries and leaves to pursue an acting career, Rose turns her attention to a reluctant Louise.

Much rests on the actress who plays Rose being able to get under the skin of the comic but largely unsympathetic character. Kerri-Ann Lees, who is rarely off stage in the role of Rose, reaches a crescendo with a storming last scene.

There are fine performances from Catherine Roberts as Louise/Gypsy Rose and Ellena Bacon as June. Darren Nunn gives strong support as Herbie, the girls’ agent who carries a torch for Rose, hoping one day to marry her. Will Rose find love and make him her fourth husband?

Appeal Theatre Group stage Gypsy at thr New Wolsey Theatre. Picture: APPEAL THEATRE GROUP Appeal Theatre Group stage Gypsy at thr New Wolsey Theatre. Picture: APPEAL THEATRE GROUP

And what of Louise? Well, as her career changes course, the audience gets to see a lot more of her.

The chorus of young people, with Ruby Lowery as Baby June and Lily Dickie as little Louise, was accomplished, lovely to watch and technically spot-on. The male dancers were tremendous; great tapping. Jon Bingham, as Tulsa, is masterful in his song and dance number All I Need is the Girl.

And the cameo roles of burlesque artists Mazeppa, Electra and Tessie Tura in the very funny You Gotta Get a Gimmick were a hoot. It will be a while before I forget that gladiatorial trumpet playing.

The splendid band is good and brassy and the costumes are great. Being a late 1950s musical, Gypsy is not short show but brisker scene changes might have helped to keep up the pace.

LYNNE MORTIMER

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Sculptor Paul Richardson is best known for his quirky, figurative steel sculptures – over-sized East End geezers, a Roy Rogers-style cowboy, a native American chief on the warpath, Pegasus, a flying horse, a Day of the Dead Mariachi and a earnest looking butler, among many others.

Altered Carbon’s author Richard K Morgan is from Norfolk which is just one (OK, two) of the 10 reasons we put forward as to why you should watch the Netflix series that everyone is talking about

A much-loved free music event is returning to a Suffolk resort this summer after a two-year absence – and organisers hope it will raise a big sum for charity.

Four guys under a street light in New Jersey many Blue Moons ago created a sound so unique that some sixty years later people still crave it.

I so wanted to love this show. Following years of mild brainwashing as a child – thanks Mum – I have long been a huge fan of musicals and in particular the fabulous collection from MGM.

Since announcing himself with seminal vampire horror Cronos (1993) and garnering further acclaim with Pan’s Labyrinth (2005), Guillermo del Toro has established himself as one of the finest living directors of fantasy cinema.

The popular boxing legend gave an insightful, informative, humourous and honest appraisal of his glittering career (warts and all).

Known best perhaps for playing Brookside’s Lindsey Corkhill, Claire Sweeney’s causing just as much trouble as bridezilla Irene in the classic musical Crazy For You, at the Ipswich Regent from Tuesday.

Ria Jones was destined to play Sunset Boulevard diva Norma Desmond. She speaks about the latest UK tour, coming to Ipswich in March; our obsession with fame and the lack of meaty stage roles for women over 50.

School choirs from across Suffolk are fine-tuning their performances for competition with the Great EACH Choir Off now just a few days away.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24