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Imelda Staunton stars in Gypsy transfer

Published 18 December 2014

Imelda Staunton will reprise her role as the iconic Momma Rose in Chichester Festival Theatre’s hit production of Gypsy when it transfers to the West End for a strictly limited season next spring.

The first London production of Stephen Sondheim’s much-loved musical fable for more than 40 years, Gypsy will play at the Savoy Theatre from 28 March (press night 15 April).

Often cited as one of Broadway’s greatest ever musicals, the rarely staged piece tells the true story of the ultimate showbiz mother Momma Rose who took her daughters Baby June and Louise across America in search of fame and fortune 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.

Featuring a book by West Side Story’s Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Sondheim, the musical was inspired by the memoirs of the real-life Louise, Gypsy Rose Lee, and boasts a classic score of hits including Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Small World, Let Me Entertain You and Together (Wherever We Go).

The production reunites director Jonathan Kent and Staunton following the hugely successful Sweeney Todd and collected a similar number of rave reviews when it first played at Chichester Festival Theatre early this year.

Multi award-winning actor Staunton, who The Telegraph described in its five star review as a “total triumph” in the role, returns to the London stage following her most recent credit in Good People at the Hampstead Theatre and in the West End.

One of Britain’s best-loved performers, her countless credits on stage include Guys And Dolls, A Chorus Of Disapproval and Life X 3 at the National Theatre, Entertaining Mr Sloane at the Trafalgar Studios and A Delicate Balance at the Almeida.

A household name for her screen appearances, Staunton has starred in films including Pride, the Harry Potter series, Maleficent, Vera Drake and The Awakening.

Further casting as to who will join Staunton in the West End transfer is yet to be announced. The production will follow Dirty Rotten Scoundrels into the Savoy Theatre, which ends it run on 7 March.

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