Wales Millennium centre, Cardiff Bay
Director – Michael Mayer
Music – Jule Styne
Sheridan Smith – Fanny Brice
Darius Campbell- Nick Arnstein
Joshua Lay – Eddie
Rachel Izen – Mrs Brice
Martin Callaghan – Mr Keeny
Jennifer Harding – Emma Nadler
Funny Girl opened to phenomenal requires in London’s Savoy theatre last year, and it soon became a must-see for theatre lovers.
And having seen it only last night in Cardiffs grand Millennium centre, it’s easy to see why.
Funny Girl is a heartbreaking tale of the fiery Fanny Brice, who lives at home in Brooklyn with her mother, convinced she will be ‘the greatest star!’
But she is often reminded, that ‘only pretty girls’ can be stars and she should stick to what she does best – being funny.
And boy, does she!
With her quick wit, two left feet and many quips (my favourite being ‘Paté? I drink it all day) Fanny rises to the top and even bags herself the handsome and charming, gambler Nick Arnstein.
But alas, this is a love story, and how many love stories in theatre have a happy ending? *sigh*
Sheridan Smith who took the starring role, proved she is more than just a great actress who can carry a note.
It’s not easy to try and step into the shoes of the feisty Fanny Brice, especially as we all remember the iconic singer Barbara Streisand taking on the role in 1968.
The supporting cast were just as good and as they broke into song every minute or so, how they kept their energy and enthusiasm all night was commendable.
Joshua Lay, who played the lovable but hapless Eddie, is a talented dancer and the two older women along with Fanny’s mother, played the nosy but caring neighbours who revelled in Fanny’s stardom.
Some cast members’ efforts at the Brooklyn/New York accent were better than others.. But hearing the famous songs such as ‘People’ and ‘Funny Girl’ sing with such passion, made more than up for the dodgy accents.
And ‘Dont rain on my parade!’, the one everyone was waiting for, was just as dynamic as you imagine it to be.
You will laugh and cry at this story, and you’re sure to be singing the songs for hours if not days after l.
Funny Girl is showing in Cardiff until July 8 and before travelling overseas to Dublin on July 11.