Gypsy has all the ingredients for a brilliant show!
A whole range of musical numbers from the intimate ‘Small World’, the perfectly cringeworthy ‘Let me Entertain You’ and the brash ‘Everything’s Coming up Roses’; it has a great story line, with comic highs and emotional lows; and it has the opportunity for good producers and directors to create a theatrical spectacle.
Halifax Playhouse delivers.
Leading the production is a powerful creative team who make the most of the finest performers in the area. Under their direction, the cast – every one of them experienced and talented performers – create their characters so effectively that it is easy to lose yourself in the story. There is a natural camaraderie between the characters, who respond and bounce off each other as they should in a story that depends so deeply on their interaction.
A further level of magic is created by the orchestra, which plays so well: powerful when needed in the showstopper numbers but, overall, sensitive to the venue and the performance on stage. Like the performers, they listen to each other and create the perfect mood.
Gypsy has many fun and entertaining scenes and none more so than the fantastic ‘You Gotta get a Gimmick’, which brings the house down. James Buckley similarly commands the stage in his enchanting performance of ‘All I Need is the Girl’, which has such controlled, exciting, pace and choreography. But there is, as the excellent programme notes describe, something deep and disturbing about the underlying truth of this story; this is not just about a ‘stage mother from hell’ but the toxic translation of one generation’s selfish and unrealised ambitions onto the next.
It takes a creative team and a cast like this to deliver. To have the ability to transform an audience from the ‘Gimmick’ showstopper to the truth of this story is exceptional. This deep-rooted fear is embodied, of course, in Rose, portrayed with the right balance of a likeable character and a maniacal controller by Rebecca Cawthra and directed brilliantly by Scott Armstrong.
So Go! Tell your friends. Go twice to experience one of the best nights of theatre you could have!
David Heathcote is a professional opera and concert producer and manager, who has written many theatre and concert reviews for the Huddersfield Examiner. He sings with The 3 British Tenors and has appeared as a soloist in opera and concerts around the UK, the US, Canada and in Italy.David Heathcote
The opening night of Gypsy at the Halifax Playhouse left me speechless.
From beginning to end, you’re swept along with Rose and her ever evolving act, so desperate to make the ‘big time’. The production team have skilfully enabled the audience to follow the children at the start of act one and watch them grow into young adults, each phase of their lives as well done as the other.
The relationships between Rose and her daughters is played wonderfully by Rebecca Cawthra who is breathtaking. The members of her act and partner Herbie remain patient for some time, during which we see the endearing talent of Craig Squance, confident performance from Danielle Williams and a flawless musical number from James Buckley.
For me, seeing the transformation of the character Louise was the highlight of the evening. Lucy Jayne Buckley portrays the kind, loyal but shy girl with such skill then blossoms into a sassy, powerful star with perfection and finesse.
This production is a fabulous example of the hard work and dedication from the cast and wonderful creative team;
A well deserved standing ovation on your opening night.
April 2018Theatre Lover