Reviewed by Charlotte White
I was pleasantly surprised by RicNic Hampshire’s production of Gypsy. The entire production was put on by 16-21 year olds and I have to say the standard was actually very high! Knowing the general premise of the show, I was intrigued to see how it would be played and they delivered with talent and just a dash of star quality.
Directed by Emily Pacey, Gypsy transports us to 1920s Vaudeville and is the story of Rose who is determined to make her daughters stars! Trying to live vicariously through her children, Rose risks everything to ensure their fame, however it doesn’t quite go to plan.
A few understudies were on, so the leading role of ultimate stage mum Rose was played by Ali Shepherd. It’s quite a mature character to play, but she certainly pulled it off in my books. She performed it with such passion and vocally her numbers were fantastic. I was very captivated by her performance and the emotion she put across.
Jack Shannon who played talent agent Herbie seemed to connect to his character well and to the others on stage. It was a very natural performance and the ease with which he acted from start to finish.
Poppy Hill certainly oozed a certain amount of star quality as both Baby June and Dainty June with her charming smile, impressive voice and high kicks. The part seemed to suit her well and her performance was very enjoyable. The term ‘triple threat’ comes to mind when thinking about her portrayal as she showcased all aspects of her talent.
The role of Louise was taken by Charlotte Teschner and she absolutely shone for the entirety of the performance. The character progressed and developed a lot as the show went on, and she portrayed each change very well. It was almost like seeing a completely new person form. There was a very engaging quality about her and she commanded the stage like a professional.
One of the comedic highlights of the second act has to be Nathan Deane as stage manager Pastey. Every line was delivered with purpose, the characterisation was spot on and the comedy timing was just right. He seemed to completely transform in to that character and his energy stood out to me multiple times throughout the show. Clara Wessley also got a lot of laughs as Miss Cratchitt, again nailing the comedy aspect and was a very amusing character. Great job by Miss Wessley.
The three burlesque dancers Tessie Tura, Mazeppa and Electra played by Bethany Williams, Becki Holder and Beth-Anne Hollyhurst respectively added yet more hilarity to the show. They definitely looked liked they had fun with the roles and their number was very enjoyable, their voices went really nicely together.
Overall, I was very impressed with the level of professionalism and energy shown by the whole cast. The costumes and staging of the production was also very impressive. It definitely helped capture the time period. Filled with musical classics and a winning storyline with such a variety of emotions, it was a thoroughly enjoyable show. I would definitely recommend RicNic productions for the future, great showcase of young talent.