Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl at the Savoy Theatre
One of the biggest success stories of 2015 has been the production of Funny Girl, which hasn’t even opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory yet. The show has already sold old ahead of its November start date, with audiences not doubt anticipating the performance of West End star Sheridan Smith in the lead role and the revival of a classic Broadway hit.
So it comes as no surprise that a West End transfer has been announced with Smith continuing to portray real life Golden era film star Fanny Brice. The show is set to run at the Savoy Theatre in April after it finishes performances in Southwark in March.
Fanny Brice was a well known star of the stage and screen right up to her death in 1951. Though the crowds knew her for lighting up a Broadway theatre or bringing joy on cinema screens, she also had a turbulent personal life thanks to the relationship with husband Nick Arnstein. The entrepreneur was sent to prison during their marriage and part of Funny Girls sees Brice await his return whilst we also learn about his initial crime and explore her career, including her first vaudeville role.
The show also features musical numbers like Don’t Rain On My Parade and they have proven to be popular with fans ever since the musical debuted on Broadway in 1964 and in London in 1966. It was also adapted to the screen in 1968 and all versions saw Barbra Streisand play Brice.
This time, however, it is the turn of Sheridan Smith, arguably one of the biggest names in the West End. The performer has appeared on television in the likes of Cilla (playing the late Cilla Black) and Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps, though her Laurence Olivier Award-winning stage career has kept her in the headlines in recent years. Her West End credits include Legally Blonde The Musical at the Savoy Theatre and Flare Path at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Audiences can catch Funny Girls at the Menier Chocolate Factory from Friday 20th November 2015 to March 2016. It then runs at the Savoy Theatre, replacing the upcoming Guys and Dolls, from Saturday 9th April 2016.