A slice of the West End was brought to Burton this week as Mellow Dramatics present the Laurents, Styne and Sondheim musical, Gypsy.
Director Tom Brassington has set himself and the Mellow team a monumental task, but they tackled the challenge of this show head on. Taking on perhaps one of the most iconic female leads, Sharon Plummer has huge shoes to fill as the overbearing Mama Rose. With some facial expressions reminiscent of Imelda Staunton herself, Plummer brought an admirable gumption to the role, paired with strong comic timing she delivered an assured performance – it would be really lovely to see the raw emotion shine through even more in her songs.
Taking on the roles of her two daughters, pushed to the limit on the Vaudeville circuit, the pairing of Emilie Arnoux as the downtrodden Louise and Hannah Parker as June was a delight. Their duet of If Momma Was Married was a vocal highlight, with beautiful harmonies soaring through under the musical direction of Sara Kimber. Arnoux’s character development was truly impressive and she really stood out in Let Me Entertain You.
There was support from Joe Bromfield as hapless agent Herbie and Rhys Jones came into his own as Tulsa, particularly in All I Need Is The Girl and there was a lovely cameo from Lily Dunne as Baby Jane. Special mention, however, must go to the incredibly versatile Dan Robb, who not only played multiple roles throughout, but transitioned seamlessly between accents. No mean feat.
With a bubbly ensemble, enhanced by some nice choreography from Andrea Osborne, Mellow Dramatics delivered a show of much merit. Tackling a complex score and some of the most iconic musical songs, it is certainly a congratulations to all involved.
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