Funny Girl: It Won’t Rain on Your Parade
Funny Girl has been revived and is back on the West End for the first time in 50 years, but not for long. Catch it while you can, because this musical comedy is not to be missed.
You may have seen the 1968 film version starring Barbra Streisand as the lead character Fanny Brice, but for those who are unfamiliar with the story like I was, here are the highlights – no spoilers.
Set in New York, Funny Girl is loosely based on the life of vaudeville legend Fanny Brice (Sheridan Smith), tracking the beginning of the her career to her rise to the top and her relationship with the charming Nick Arnstein (Darius Campbell).
Sheridan Smith OWNS this show*. When the curtain went up, I didn’t know what to expect as I’d never heard of Sheridan Smith before (yes, I have been living under a rock). A good 15-minutes in, I unexpectedly and kinda embarrassingly found myself missing her brief scenes where sassy Smith wasn’t present.
Her Bronx accent was spot on, her Adele-eseque voice blew me away, and but best of all, her over the top facial expressions, gestures and comic delivery of her lines got the audience cackling almost every time – there was no need for no polite or pity giggles here. She’s that good.
The set and costumes were incredible. The backdrops of the saloon, street gang rumbles, the performances from the musical within the musical ‘Follies’ (this production is pretty much Inception) were amazingly realistic.
I’ve always been a sucker for Prohibition-era get up and men in suits so I was in heaven. The conveyor belt-type tracks on the stage were particularly impressive as it meant minimal disruption to the show’s flow. Props would quickly disappear without someone fussing on stage, and the tracks were also used to demonstrate time passing and travel. The songs about marriage, being not pretty enough for showbiz, and the search for happiness, timeless. The cheeky choreography to suit Fanny’s tongue-in-cheek jokes, perfect.
Funny Girl is hilarious, heartbreaking and empowering. Legally Blonde and Erin Brockovich fans will love the determination and strength of Fanny and will especially enjoy the Act I closing number, ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’.
Fans of Guys and Dolls and Mama Mia, should buy their tickets right now. Funny Girl at the Savoy closes on October 8, 2016. You’ll want to kick yourself if you miss out.
*Some performances, the role of Fanny is played by Natasha J Barnes, who I hear is equally as brilliant.
Grab great seats in a variety of theatre performances for just £16. Check PROMPT between 12-3pm to scout some seriously good deals on that day’s shows.