Gypsy is described as ‘one of the most popular and enduring characters in musical history’ and STOS theatre company made exactly that come to life.
The cast of the amateur company, made up of everyone from doctors to dancers lit up the stage from the moment the curtain rose to its fall.
Based on the memoirs of striptease Gypsy Lee Rose, the cast understood exactly how to grab an audience by the heels and dazzle them with a sprinkle of showbiz.
Keeley Kilby gave such emotional depth to the character of Mama Rose, an ambitious yet selfish mother, trying to live out her own dreams through her children.
The transition as the children grew up was purely flawless.
The characterisation of the cast portrayed the movement of fast-paced show business and the art of trying to keep up.
A special mention has to be given to Caroline Fojut, Louis Walker and Vivien Siberry Scott, whose acting made them shine (at some points literally) as dancers in a burlesque club. The trio’s main scene had the audience around us howling with laughter.
Every actor was so professional and focused and despite a few minor sound issues, the show went on.
Not a single performer stuttered over a line, or was distracted by their microphone. The adaptability of the cast to cope with whatever happened was incredible.
Microphone problems are expected on opening night as a teething issue but rarely are repeated throughout later performances.
I do have to admit it was unusual to see a musical with no traditional chorus, yet this seemed to make each performer stand out evermore and produced a complex and artistic story of love and broken ambition.
STOS does seem to be capable of anything - I am told that when this production from the early 1900s is over, auditions for Shrek The Musical will take place in January.
A challenge never seems far away for the Company, which is exactly how theatre should be.
But to finish I must mention the dancing cow - which stole the stage entirely.
Gypsy runs at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield until Saturday, November 17.