Gypsy is a classic piece of musical theatre, and the Chichester Festival Theatre’s revival was a sell-out success last year. The production has fared just as well since transferring to the Savoy Theatre for a West End run and the principal performers are a big part of that, with Imelda Staunton giving a star turn in the iconic role of Momma Rose, reprised from the original Chichester run. Joining them each night though is a fantastic company of people, each one bringing their own unique set of skills to the stage to help make Gypsy the spectacular piece of musical theatre that it is. One such cast member is Philip Catchpole, who is also the featured ensemble member for this edition of In Profile.
Philip Catchpole is a talented young performer who has accrued a list of theatre credits that reads very well. His path to the West End stage began at the Elmhurst School for Dance and Performing Arts, which he attended between 1995 and 2002. During his time there, he worked with the National Youth Theatre and National Youth Music Theatre too. Since completing his training, he has involved himself in an assortment of theatre-based projects both in and outside the West End.
One such project saw him entertaining on-board P&O Cruises (Cruising Musicals Consortium, Aurora Theatre Company), while another saw him perform with the Vienna Festival Ballet on their UK tour of Sleeping Beauty. His extensive experience in touring productions also includes numerous musical theatre productions, such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He was part of the show’s ensemble for its acclaimed run at the London Palladium and also appeared in the original UK tour, performing not only as the understudy for the Inventor, but also the production’s dance captain. Further tour credits include the original European tour of Footloose and the UK tour of Monty Python musical Spamalot, the latter of which saw him perform in the ensemble in addition to covering the roles of Prince Herbert, Patsy and Sir Robin.
He has also been fortunate enough to be in the original company of a number of shows, including the original UK production of White Christmas at the Mayflower, Southampton. More prominent appearances have brought him into the West End, such as when he played IQ in the original London cast of Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre and also covered and played the principal role of Link Larkin. He was part of the original London revival of Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane too, which had been at the centre of the BBC reality talent programme I’d Do Anything in the search for an unknown star to play Nancy. The role went to show winner Jodie Prenger, who he performed onstage with in his ensemble role between December 2008/09.
His other theatre credits include Dancer in Cinderella (Sunderland Empire), Ensemble in Dick Whittington (Theatre Royal, Nottingham), Cole in Stolen (Landor Theatre), and Marshall Blackstone in Babes in Arms (Chichester Festival Theatre). He has also made a number of screen appearances, appearing on This Morning with Phillip Schofield and also as one of the masquerade dancers in the 2005 film adaption of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum.
He joined Andrew Lloyd Webber’s revival of The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium in February 2012 as part of the show’s cast change, which now featured a line-up starring Sophie Evans as Dorothy and Russell Grant as The Wizard, with Des O’Connor taking over the role in May 2012. Catchpole was a member of the ensemble team and remained with the production until its closing performance on 2nd September 2012, after which he moved to the Apollo Victoria to join its sister show, Wicked. He spent two years performing in the ensemble, understudying the principal role of Boq in his second year there, and played his final performance on 25th October 2014.
He can currently be found at the Savoy Theatre as part of the London cast of the Chichester Festival Theatre’s acclaimed production of Gypsy, which transferred into the West End earlier this year. He is a Swing in the show, which stars Imelda Staunton in the iconic role of Momma Rose, Lara Pulver as Louise and Peter Davison as Herbie.
Philip Catchpole is an outstanding talent who remains part of the West End scene until Gypsy closes on 28th November 2015. The road is wide open after that, but one can only hope it will lead him back to the West End and into a full-time principal role.
You can follow Philip on Twitter: @PhilipCatchpole
By Julie Robinson: @missjulie25
Saturday 10th October 2015