"Curtain up, light the lights!" The words - Stephen Sondheim's - are showbiz folklore and the show,  Gypsy - the musical lover's musical - is about as iconic as they come, a breathless fast-forward through the age of Vaudeville, Burlesque and the rocky road to stardom illuminated by the brassiest and most nostalgic score ever written for a backstage scenario.

Ethel Merman crowned her career with her portrayal of the ultimate showbusiness mother living out her dreams of stage stardom through her two put-upon daughters and the great and the good of Broadway and the world have lined up to step into her shoes: Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone and now Lancashire-born Caroline O'Connor whose dynamism could short-circuit Leicester's Curve Theatre as Paul Kerryson's brand new staging of the Jule Styne/ Stephen Sondheim/ Arthur Laurents classic promises to clinch that opening stanza - "We've got nothing to hit but the heights".

With her triumphant portrayal of Mrs Lovett in the Paris Chatelet's recent staging of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd still fresh in aficionados minds, O'Connor can be sure as can be that "Everything's Coming Up Roses" for her in Leicester.

In this exclusive audio podcast Edward Seckerson catches Caroline O'Connor and Paul Kerryson during final rehearsals and even persuades O'Connor to give us a sneak preview of her vocal firestorm. Music director Michael Haslam joins her at the keyboard.

To listen to the interview, click the 'play' button below; or to subscribe and download from iTunes, click here.