Sunday, 19 October 2014
cabin in the country and a few musical numbers
I could tell we were in the countryside.
"Do you have any hunting guns with you?" came the request from the check-in desk.
...or maybe I'm in an episode or Eastenders?
No, we were in West Sussex, about to stay in some wooden cabins before heading to a show in a nearby Chichester.
The potentially rustic room had a modern twist, and gave us a sound base for our evening.
Then to Chichester Festival Theatre, where we watched the show 'Gypsy', featuring Imelda Staunton excellently playing the Momma Rose mother
to Gypsy Rose Lee. I had to admit that I've never seen any production or movie so it was an entire surprise to me.
I last saw Imelda Staunton in that recent Brit-com Camden Town gays support Welsh miners movie "Pride" where she played the Welsh town committee ringleader. In Gypsy she gets some really big songs and plays them for keeps. The other cast members, which includes Kevin Whatley as Bernie the agent, play well but are at least a notch or two below Staunton's performance.
I think the original treatment is from 1950-something. To my mind there were a few curious jumps in the logic of the production, which I suppose is in the nature of musicals, but here somehow mildly confused my sense of the story. That's not to say it wasn't easy enough to follow, but it did feels as if the main Acts had been somehow gaffer-taped together.
None of that detracts from the wisecracking Sondheim lyrics and the surprisingly elaborate staging, with West-End level false perspective rotating rooms and stage entrances via whizzy platforms.
There was also a very strong orchestra and a less common nowadays overture at the start of each half.
So, an evening's entertainment, and a cracking performance from Staunton, before we headed back to the far from silent wooden huts in the countryside.