Kicking off the tour of the West End hit show Funny Girl, Sheridan Smith took to the stage at The Palace Theatre, Manchester – to reprise her role of Fanny Brice. After its huge success in London, it’s no surprise that there wasn’t an empty seat in the theatre – and by the end of the show there wasn’t a single audience member left seated as they all rose to their feet to give a standing ovation to what was quite possible the best role Sheridan has ever performed.
Her vocal ability and range was incredible, and I was shocked to discover that all along, one of my all time favourite small screen actresses has had a voice to match her phenomenal acting abilities. Perhaps I should have realised this during the musical episode of Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps.
Funny Girl is set in the 1900’s and is based on the life of Broadway star Fanny Brice whose success as a comedy performer and singer caused trouble in her relationship with her big shot gambling husband, Nick Arnstein – played by Chris Peluso.
The show was a beautiful contrast of Fanny Brice, doing what she does best – performing her hilariously funny comedy routines, juxtaposed by the damage her fame and fortune caused to her marriage. This beautiful show tells the story of a young girl destined for stardom, but that stardom came at a price.
The musical numbers were all executed perfectly, with performances of ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade‘, ‘People‘ and ‘You are Woman, I am Man‘ amongst others – and the comedic timing of Sheridan had the audience in fits of laughter from start to finish.
The entire cast was superb, the singing, dancing and acting was so impressive, and I especially enjoyed Rachel Izen as Mrs Brice and Myra Sands as Mrs Strakosh.
Funny Girl will now tour across the UK, dates and venues can be found here.
Although Sheridan won’t be performing the lead for the full length of the tour, you can check on the website to find out which places she will be performing in the role of Fanny.
It will remain at the Palace Theatre until the 25th February, and is due to return to the Palace Theatre for the end of the tour in August. And I’m seriously considering booking tickets to go and see it again when it returns.