Casting is now complete for Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre's one-night-only concert performance of Gypsy at Opera House, Manchester February 25. The evening will serve as a fundraiser for the U.K. theatre, part of its "Hope for the Future" campaign.
Stage and reality star Jodie Prenger (Oliver!, Annie), as previously reported, will take on the role of Mama Rose. Hope Mill co-founders Joseph Houston and William Whelton will direct and choreograph, respectively.
Joining Prenger in the cast will be the newly announced Tom Lister as Herbie, Grace Mouat as Louise, May Tether as June, Divina De Campo as Mazeppa, Harriet Thorpe as Tessie Tura, Liz Fletcher as Electra, Idriss Kargbo as Tulsa, Peter Gunn as Pop/Mr. Goldstone, Angela Lonsdale as Miss Cratchitt, Halle Brady as Baby June, and Amelia Munshi as Baby Louise.
Performing alongside the principal cast will be students from Laine Theatre Arts—Jacob Morrish, Josh Egan, Harvey Pearce, Nat Ingham, Cameron Boulter, Holly Henderson, Ynez Williams, Aisling Sharkey, Georgia Clements, and Eloise Knowles—as well as students from Stagebox Theatre Academy.
The artists will be backed by a 21-piece orchestra, and the creative team also includes co-choreographer Charise Renouf, set designer Andrew Exeter, musical director Joseph Clayton, lighting designer Aaron Dootson, projection designer Matt Powell, costume designer Lorraine Bell, sound designer Paul Smith, and dialect coach Manny Crooks.
“I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the upcoming Gypsy concert!," said Prenger in an earlier statement. "It's a dream role for anyone in the theatre world, and I am honored to have the opportunity to bring this iconic character to life. I can remember to this day playing the overture as [a] teenager. Tears welling in my eyes and goosebumps on my forearms.
“But what makes this concert even more special is that it is in support of Hope Mill Theatre. This fabulous theatre has been instrumental in nurturing and shaping future generations of theatregoers. They provide a platform for emerging talent and continuously push the boundaries of creativity. I can’t wait to step on that stage and be part of something so truly special.”
Prenger won seasons of both The Biggest Loser and I'd Do Anything, the latter launching her stage career. She stars on TV's Coronation Street, and has appeared on stage in A Taste of Honey, Shirley Valentine, Annie, Tell Me On a Sunday, Oliver!, One Man Two Guvnors, Spamalot, and Les Misérables.
With a book by Arthur Laurents and a score by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim, Gypsy is perhaps the most iconic backstage musical. The work follows real-life burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee, taking inspiration from her somewhat apocryphal memoir to tell the story of her fierce and ruthless stage mother, Mama Rose, as she works to make her children stars on the vaudeville circuit. The classic score introduced such tunes as "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "Together (Wherever We Go)," "You Gotta Get a Gimmick," and "Rose's Turn."
This production of Gypsy is being presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Tams Witmark.