Further Casting Updates For The West End Transfer Of Gypsy
| By Jacob Porteous
Further casting has been announced for the much anticipated West End transfer Gypsy, opening at the Savoy Theatre in April (with previews beginning at the end of this month). Joining Imelda Staunton, who stars as the indomitable Momma Rose in Jonathan Kent’s production of Gypsy, are Lara Pulver and Gemma Sutton who reprise the roles of Louise and June respectively in the five star Chichester Festival Theatre production, while Peter Davison joins the cast to play Herbie.
The cast also features Dan Burton as Tulsa, Billy Hartman as Uncle Jocko, Jack Chissick as Mr Goldstone, Anita Louise Combe as Tessie Tura, Harry Dickman as Pop, Lucinda Shaw as Mother, Roger Dipper as L.A., Louise Gold as Mazeppa, Clare Halse as Majorie May, Tom Hodgkins as Mr Weber, Kieran Jae as Yonkers, Julie Legrand as Electra, Danielle Morris as Geraldine, Luke Street as Little Rock, Damien Poole as Kansas, Lauren Hall as Delores and Natalie Woods as Agnes. Ensemble members include Liz Ewing, Lauren Ingram, Tom Murphy and Phillip Catchpole. The casting of the roles of Baby June and Baby Louise will be announced shortly.
A musical fable with book by Arthur Laurents, Gypsy has music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, choreography by Stephen Mear, designs by Anthony Ward, musical direction and orchestration by Nicholas Skilbeck, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Paul Groothuis.
Gypsy is considered by many to be the greatest of the Broadway musicals. It tells the true story of ambitious showbiz mother Momma Rose, who treks across America with her daughters Baby June and Louise in search of success with their homespun vaudeville act. As times change, Momma Rose is forced to accept the demise of vaudeville and the rise of burlesque, as well as her daughters’ quest for autonomy.
The first production to be seen in London for forty years in a strictly limited season, Gypsy opens at the Savoy Theatre on 15 April 2015 with previews from 28 March 2015 and is produced in the West End by Michael Harrison and David Ian.
Gypsy reunites actor Imelda Staunton and director Jonathan Kent who previously collaborated on the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Sweeney Todd, which, after a sell-out run there, transferred to the West End. Kent also directed Staunton in Good People for Hampstead Theatre, which similarly transferred to the West End after a sell-out season in Hampstead.
Multi award-winning actor Imelda Staunton’s extensive theatre credits include Sweeney Todd for Chichester Festival Theatre, Guys and Dolls, A Chorus of Disapproval and Life x 3 for the National Theatre, There Came a Gypsy Riding for the Almeida Theatre, They Shoot Horses Don’t They? and The Wizard of Oz for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Slavs for Hampstead Theatre, Circle Mirror Transformation for the Royal Court Theatre, Entertaining Mr. Sloane at the Trafalgar Studios, Calico at the Duke of York’s Theatre, Uncle Vanya at the Vaudeville, Into the Woods at the Phoenix Theatre and Habeas Corpus at the Donmar Warehouse. Her many film credits include Pride, Maleficent, The Awakening, Another Year, Taking Woodstock, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, Vera Drake, Nanny McPhee, Bright Young Things, Shakespeare in Love, Sense and Sensibility, Peter’s Friends and Twelfth Night. Her television includes the upcoming That Day We Sang, Psychoville, Cranford Chronicles, The Wind in the Willows, My Family and Other Animals, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Fingersmith, Cambridge Spies, David Copperfield and The Singing Detective.
Peter Davison joins the Company to play Herbie. He was last on stage in the West End as Professor Callaghan in Legally Blonde The Musical and King Arthur in Spamalot. Davison became a household name when he played the fifth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who between 1981 and 1984. His extensive television credits include Tristan Farnon in the long running BBC series All Creatures Great and Small and DC Davies in four series of ITV’s acclaimed The Last Detective as well as New Tricks, Micro Men, At Home with the Braithwaites, The Complete Guide to Parenting, A Very Peculiar Practice, Ain't Misbehaving and Fear Stress and Anger. His more recent television credits include Unforgiven, Midsomer Murders, Miranda, The Queen, Death in Paradise, Cabbage and Pat and Toast of London. His other stage credits include The Vertical Hour at the Park Theatre, Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre, An Absolute Turkey at the Globe Theatre and Arsenic and Old Lace for Chichester Festival Theatre. On film his credits include Parting Shots and Black Beauty.
Lara Pulver is making her West End debut as Louise. She previously appeared at Chichester Festival Theatre in Uncle Vanya. Her other theatre credits include Parade for the Donmar Warehouse, Honk! for the National Theatre, The Last Five Years for the Menier Chocolate Factory, Into The Woods at the Royal Opera House, High Society at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Grease at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Her television credits include Skins, Da Vinci Demons, Fleming, Sherlock, Robin Hood, True Blood and Spooks. Her film credits include The Edge of Tomorrow. In 2015 Pulver will also be seen reprising the role as Erin Watts in Spooks: The Greater Good and in The Riders opposite Liam McIntyre, which is released later this year in Australia.
Gemma Sutton plays June. Her theatre credits include Carousel at the Arcola, Blues in the Night at the Hackney Empire, Chicago at the Leicester Curve, Legally Blonde The Musical at the Savoy and Hairspray and Oklahoma! tour in the UK. She played Beryl Mardsen in the recent television drama Cilla.
Director Jonathan Kent’s theatre credits includes Sweeney Todd and Private Lives for Chichester Festival Theatre, Good People for Hampstead Theatre, Le Cid, Mother Courage and Her Children, The False Servant, Oedipus and Emperor and Galilean for the National Theatre, Man of La Mancha on Broadway, Hecuba for the Donmar Warehouse, As You Desire Me at the Playhouse Theatre, The Country Wife, The Sea and Marguerite for the Theatre Royal Haymarket and Faith Healer in Dublin and on Broadway. Kent was joint Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre for 12 years, where his many productions included Gangster No 1, All For Love, The School for Wives, Medea, Hamlet, The Life of Galileo, Ivanov, The Tempest, Richard II, Coriolanus, Phèdre, Britannicus, Plenty, Lulu, Platonov and King Lear, many of which transferred to the West End and Broadway and toured internationally. His many opera credits include productions for the Mariinsky in St Petersburg, Glyndebourne, the Royal Opera House, ENO, Royal Danish Opera and Santa Fe Opera.