The Guardian 29 May 2013

There’s something of the Mother Courage about Mama Rose. Like Bertolt Brecht’s play, in which a woman trades her way through the 30 years’ war in a primal effort to support her family, Gypsy is about a mother who acts out of economic necessity to keep her daughters alive. It is not a pretty tale.

In an embittered take on the American dream, the Arthur Laurents/Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim musical shows the entrepreneurial spirit at its most extreme – and least rewarded. Mama Rose, the ultimate stage mother, drags daughters June and Louise from one vaudeville fleapit to the next, sustaining their tawdry act on self-belief alone. [READ MORE]

By Mark Fisher

MARK FISHER is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre in Scotland since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a frequent contributor to the Scotsman and other publications. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also the editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (both Mark Fisher Ltd).