Plans Moving Forward for London Revival of Gypsy, to Star Imelda Staunton as Rose

By Mark Shenton
05 Oct 2012

Imelda Staunton
Imelda Staunton

Imelda Staunton, who recently completed a West End run as Mrs. Lovett in the transfer of Sweeney Todd from Chichester Festival Theatre, is set to star next as Rose in the first West End revival of Jule Styne, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim's Gypsy since it was produced in the U.K. in the 70s starring Angela Lansbury.

According to a report in the U.K.'s Daily Mail, it will be directed by Jonathan Kent, who also directed Sweeney Todd, and it is likely to be staged "around this time next year," under the auspices of Chichester Festival Theatre.

Chichester's main house, however, will be closed for an extensive refurbishment next year, so artistic director Jonathan Church is reported to be working on plans to either open it direct in London or via another regional theatre.

Gypsy features a score by Jule Styne (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) and a book by Laurents. The musical bowed on Broadway in May 1959 at the Broadway Theatre, playing 702 performances before closing at the Imperial Theatre, where it later transferred, on March 25, 1961. Ethel Merman created the role of Rose in the original production; subsequent Broadway Roses include Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone (as well as Linda Lavin, who took over for Daly). Merman and Peters were Tony-nominated for their performances; Lansbury, Daly and LuPone won the award.