What can we expect from this eagerly anticipated new production?
Tickets are now on sale for what is set to be the hottest musical revival of 2016. After selling out the initial run at the Menier Chocolate Factory in just 90 minutes, Funny Girl has already been announced to transfer to the Savoy Theatre for a strictly limited season from 9 April 2016.
Whilst many of the Menier's previous musicals have gone on to transfer to both the West End and Broadway, this production of Funny Girl breaks their record for the fastest-selling production in the venue's history, which surely proves that audiences can't wait to see the first London revival since the original 1966 production.
With the show currently in rehearsals and set to begin previews at the Menier next week, Producers are being top-secret about the changes to the show and exactly what audiences can expect. Tony Award-winners director Michael Mayer, and book writer Harvey Fierstein, have reportedly come up with a fresh and original take on the show that is both respectful of the original material, but enables Fanny Brice's story to resonate with a modern audience.
For those who are lucky enough to have tickets for the Menier run, Funny Girl is just around the corner. Those hoping to catch the show at the Savoy will have to wait a little longer – so for now, take a look at our run down of exactly what we can expect from the show.
Don't let anybody bring around a cloud to rain on your parade – book your tickets for Funny Girl before it's too late...
What we can expect from Funny Girl:
A hit score of classic Broadway tunes
Whilst we don't yet know what new material, if any, will be added – we can certainly count on the classics such as “People”, “I'm The Greatest Star” and of course the anthemic “Don't Rain on My Parade” to feature prominently.
Sheridan Smith – The Greatest Star
Double Olivier-Award winner Sheridan Smith has proven time and again to be one of Britain's finest stage actresses. From a young age she has wowed audiences in musicals such as 'Bugsy Malone', 'Into the Woods' and more recently 'Little Shop of Horrors' which originally also ran at the Menier before transferring into the West End. Her big musical break however came when she originated the role of Elle Woods in the West End première of 'Legally Blonde the Musical', helping the show achieve a greater success than in New York, taking home the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Proving she was no one-hit-wonder, Smith won the Olivier the year after for her performance in Trevor Nunn's revival of 'Flare Path' at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. On screen, she recently dazzled in ITV's drama 'Cilla' where she played the late Cilla Black, showing off her incredible vocal skills once again. Whilst the shadow of Barbra Streisand looms formidably over the show, we're fully confident that Sheridan will bring her own brand of humour and charm to the role and knock it out of the park.
Whilst many people still remember his iconic rendition of Britney Spears' classic “Hit Me Baby One More Time” on the original pop reality show 'Popstars', Darius has come a long way from his on-screen arguments with Nigel Lithgoe. After forging a successful pop career (Colourblind, anyone?), he made the crossover into the world of musical theatre by appearing as Billy Flynn in the West End production of 'Chicago'. He created the role of Rhett Butler in Trevor Nunn's short-lived musical version of 'Gone With the Wind' at the New London Theatre, and reappeared in the West End back in 2013 in new musical 'From Here to Eternity' at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Whilst he's certainly been searching for a blockbusting show, his talent, charm and good looks are endless – and we can't wait to see him take on this exciting new challenge.
Harvey Fierstein – The Midas Touch
If there's one person on Broadway who you want to be involved with your show it's Harvey Fierstein. Darling of the critics and the Tony Awards voting committee, Mr Fierstein is responsible for some of the most successful new musicals of recent times. Writing the book to a musical is no easy task – if the show is good, audiences don't think about the book. If a show is bad however, it's often the book writer who takes the blame. Whilst he's not providing an original story for Funny Girl he is however updating the existing book and making it work for a modern audience. Since the production has not been revived since the original 1964 production, revisions to the text haven't been made – and this is where Harvey comes into play. We're expecting a tight structure, well defined characters, perhaps some additional songs and of course, plenty of laughs along the way.
Menier Chocolate Factory – Seal of Approval
It may be one of London's smaller theatres, but the Menier Chocolate Factory is by far one of the most successful producing houses in the country. Their mix of musical theatre revivals and plays makes for a dynamic yearly season, and it constantly attracts the best creative teams and casts due to its strong artistic policy and vision for success. With countless West End and Broadway transfers to its name (Close To You recently transferred to the Criterion Theatre, and The Color Purple has just begun performances on Broadway), the venue has an international reputation for delivering the highest quality pieces of musical theatre. You can guarantee that Funny Girl will be no exception – we couldn't be more excited that this important revival is beginning its life at this impressive venue.