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Criterion Theatre
Gypsy (2012)
Written by Arthur Laurents & Julie Styne & Stephen Sondheim
Sat 8th December to Sat 15th December
Director – John Ruscoe
Production Photos
Uncle Jocko – Matt Sweatman
George – Dave Cornish
Rose – Vicki Hollings
Pop – Doug Griffiths
Weber/ Mr Goldstone/ Pastey/ Reporter – Joe Fallowell
Louise – Lucy Hayton
Tulsa/ Showboy – Pete Meredith
Kringelein/ Cigar/ Reporter – Mark Wiszowaty
Miss Cratchit – Cathryn Bowler
Agnes/ Showgirl – Lucy Rushton
Tessie Tura – Christine Evans
Mazeppa – Anne-marie Greene
June – Jodie Gibson
Hollywood Blonde/ Renee/ Showgirl – Helen Stokes
Hollywood Blonde/ Showgirl – Kathryn Fitch
Herbie – Matt Sweatman
Phil – Doug Griffiths
Reporter – Anne-marie Greene
Showgirl – Anne-marie Greene
Electra – Cathryn Bowler
Showgirl – Cathryn Bowler
Baby Louise – Joanna Gay
Baby June – Cherry-Rose Cleverley
Newsboy – Ollie James
Newsboy – Alexandra Gummery
Newsboy – Daisy Robb
Newsboy – Lauren Cooke
Yonkers – Sam Taylor
Angie – Dan Houston
L.A. – Callum Rowlson
Hollywood Blonde – Charlotte Toon
Hollywood Blonde – Lizzie Coughlan
Uncle Jocko's Acts – Nicole Firth
Uncle Jocko's Acts – Emma Withers
Uncle Jocko's Acts – Jo Shelton
Uncle Jocko's Acts – Louisa Ruscoe
Uncle Jocko's Acts – Frederique Withers
Uncle Jocko's Acts – Madeleine Firth
Uncle Jocko's Acts – Vincent Gillam-Greene
Uncle Jocko's Acts – Verity Gillam-Greene
Uncle Jocko's Acts – Beatrice Shelton
Musical Director – Bill Bosworth
Stage Manager – Ben Woodward
Choreographer – Deb Relton-Elves
Choreographer – Jayne Meggitt
Co-director – Deb Relton-Elves
Prompt – Maggie Parkes
Lighting Design – Karl Stafford
Set Design – Pete Bagley
Lighting Operator – Sarah Zujans
Lighting Operator – Becky Cribdon
Lighting Operator – Simon Sharpe
Follow Spot Operator – Stella Gabriel
Sound – Paul Forey
Set Build – Pete Bagley
Set Build – Ben Woodward
Set Build – Bill Hamill
Set Build – Simon Sharpe
Set Build – Kevin Woods
Set Build – Terry Rahilly
Set Build – Mike Tooley
Set Build – Frances Dixon
Set Paint – Judy Talbot
Set Paint – Becky Cribdon
Set Paint – Paul Chokran
Set Paint – Louise Bagley
Set Paint – Grace Parker
Wardrobe – Maureen Liggins
Wardrobe – Candy Waddell
Wardrobe – Sara Farmanfarmai
Wardrobe – Pam Coleman
Wardrobe – Emma Withers
Wardrobe – Maureen Copping
Wardrobe – Doreen Belton
Wardrobe – Nancy Silvester
Wardrobe – Anne Houston
Wardrobe – Chris Ingall
Wardrobe – Dee O'Donoghue
Wardrobe – Nicole Firth
Wardrobe – Nicola Gabriel
Props – Annie Woodward
Props – Les Rahilly
Props – Lorenzo Moldoveanu
The Programme
The Play
Gypsy is the ultimate story of a very ambitious stage mother and her daughters. Join Rose, June and Louise in their trip across the United States during the 1920's, when vaudeville was dying and see the emergence of the world-famous burlesque artist, Gypsy Rose Lee. Julie Styne's music and Stephen Sondheim's lyrics include Let Me Entertain You, Some People, You'll Never Get Away from Me, If Momma Was Married, All I Need Is the Girl, Everything's Coming Up Roses, You Gotta Get A Gimmick and Together Wherever We Go.

A MUSICAL definitely of two halves as the innocence of vaudeville gives way to the seduction of burlesque in the American theatres of the 1930s.

First we have the Shirley Temple-style cuteness of Baby June, played to perfection in the early scenes by real-life eight-year-old Cherry-Rose Cleverley.Baby June bobs her corkscrew blonde curls and cartwheels across the stage as she asks the audience “What's your name?”. Trouble is she and her shy sister, Baby Louse (Joanna Gay), have to keep repeating the same little girl act as the years roll by and they morph into young women, played by Jodie Gibson and Lucy Hayton. All that changes as the increasingly rebellious and no longer 'Baby' Jane revolts, and her place in the act has to be taken by awkward Louise, anxious to please their stage-struck mother, Rose (Vicki Hollings).

Gypsy - said to be based on the real story of Gypsy Rose Lee - was a hit on Broadway back in 1959 when Ethel Merman played pushy mother Rose and a young Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics. It went on to become a successsful film.

But as a Christmas musical for the Criterion I'm not sure it was the best choice. The company – which has one of the best track records in amateur theatre - still doesn't have the surest touch with musicals. Not that I've come across many others that could do a better job and the live orchestra is a great addition, along with some new faces in the chorus line.

Certainly there was no doubt the temperature rose after the interval when the girls from wholesome variety start to learn a few things about entertainment from the semi-naked girls in one of the striptease clubs that are taking over the theatres.

Throughout the action Vicki Hollings has to dominate the stage and she does this unflinchingly most of the time. I particularly enjoyed her scenes with Matt Sweatman, who plays Herbie.
Meanwhile Lucy Hayton is a revelation as the reluctant performer who learns to leave her audience begging for more.

If you're looking to see this show then book very quickly as it's already practically a sell-out..

Verdict: A little dated but definitely worth watching.

Barbara Goulden
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