Tag Archives: Savoy Theatre

REVIEW: Gypsy – Savoy Theatre, London

What more can be said about Gypsy?, save for the fact that it is all it is hyped up to be: a great big, ballsy, barnstorming, bravura performance by the brilliant Imelda Staunton in the musical many regard as the greatest ever written and astonishing that it has been over 40 years since its one and only appearance on the London stage.

Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre  Imelda Staunton as Rose,  ©Alastair Muir 15.04.15

Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre
Imelda Staunton as Rose,
©Alastair Muir 15.04.15

National treasure Staunton is in equal measure terrifying and electrifying as the showbiz mom to end all showbiz moms. She veers from comical pluckiness to frightening forcefulness throughout, but there are moments too of genuine tenderness in her relationship with the long suffering Herbie, her much put-upon beau.

3.-l-r-Lara-Pulver-Louise-Imelda-Staunton-Momma-Rose-Photo-Johan-Persson

 

The book by Arthur Laurents and the music and lyrics from Jule Styne & Stephen Sondheim perfectly encapsulates the Vaudeville era, the desperation to ‘make it’, grab a buck wherever you can, travelling the vast expanse of the US from the dustbowl to the down at heel playhouses, scrabbling for a slot to show your wares and pay for your next meal.

Gypsy at The Savoy Theatre Imelda Staunton as Rose, Lara Pulver as Louise ©Alastair Muir 15.04.15

Gypsy at The Savoy Theatre
Imelda Staunton as Rose, Lara Pulver as Louise
©Alastair Muir 15.04.15

Though it is very much Staunton’s show, she is more than ably supported by Lara Pulver as Louise the daughter who eventually morphs from overlooked tomboy to the world’s most famous strip tease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, Gemma Sutton as favoured daughter June – still pretending to be nine years old when she’s clearly on the cusp of womanhood and Peter Davison as the affable and loyal Herbie. Credit must also go to the child actors of Rose’s ragbag vaudeville troupe  who provide much of the first act laughs.

This is a work of infinite quality topped off with one of the finest musical theatre performances you are ever likely to see. Truly unmissable.

Runs until 28 November 2015

REVIEW: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – Savoy Theatre, London

Having watched the publicity that surrounded the West End debut of musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (based of course on the 1988 movie of the same name), the big-name cast, the lavish sets, the TV spots, you would be forgiven for thinking that the show was fresh out of the box, but it’s actually been doing the rounds since 2004.

19260_fullIt is an unusual choice for adaptation, while the film is remembered reasonably affectionately it was never an out and out smash and has been reduced to a vague memory 26 years on.

In a nutshell it’s the tale of two seasoned con men and their attempt to hoodwink a millionaire heiress in the spectacular South of France.

19264_fullWhilst an amiable enough evening at the theatre it offers nothing new and manages to distinguish itself only by being one of the most old-fashioned (and not in a good way) and sexist pieces of theatre currently on stage. It’s like a bad 70’s sitcom but this time with expensive sets and a top-rate cast.

It’s greatest redeeming feature is Robert Lindsay in the central role. Despite the rumours of his difficulty to work with, he really does milk this for all its worth. Without him it would be unwatchable.

Pleasant to look at but not a lot more.