Friday, June 12

Full cast announced for Funny Girl starring Sheridan Smith at Menier

Updated 16th October:According to Baz in today's Mail the cast for the sold out Funny Girl will now include Maurice Lane, as theatre manager Mr Kenney.(He performed in the chorus when Barbra Streisand starred in Funny Girl in 1966).   Darius Campbell (Gone with the Wind and From Here to Eternity) will portray Nick Arnstein, Brice's love interest. Marilyn Cutts is  Fanny's mother, and Valda Aviks and Gay Soper will play Brice's friends. 

Rehearsales for the show start on Monday (although a lot of singing and dancing prep has already taken place) and  director Michael Mayer has made it clear Smith will be playing the role her own way, and not be playing Barbra Streisand playing Fanny Brice.

Updated 3rd August: Dates now confirmed for Funny Girl at the Menier from November 20th-March 5th.(Press night 2nd December). It will be directed by Michael Mayer, designed by Michael Pavelka, choreographed by Lynne Page with musical supervision from Alan Williams. Further casting to be announced.Tickets go on general sale on Monday 17 August.

Updated 10th July:  Sheridan has just confirmed that she IS  playing Fanny Brice in Funny Girl which will be the Menier Xmas show which starts rehearsals in October and  runs from late November until early March.

According to Baz in today's Mail, multi award winning Sheridan Smith is in early talks to play Fanny Brice in the iconic musical Funny Girl at the Menier Chocolate Factory. She has just met with director Michael Mayer but it seems that if Smith decides against it, the musical will go back in storage for the time being. It is very exciting news and would be wonderful if she commits as not only is it a tour de force for the Menier but in my opinion it is the perfect role for her with the stage presence, wit,  charm and charisma that she brings with her.

Barbra Streisand originated the role on Broadway in 1964 and received a Tony nomination; she  took  the show to London in 1966.  A Broadway revival, potentially starring Lea Michele or Kelly Clarkson has been in the pipeline for over a year.

The original Broadway musical had a book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill with hit numbers including  People, Cornet Man and Don’t Rain On My Parade which are perfect showcases for Sheridan's powerful voice.

The semi-biographical plot is  based on the life and career of Broadway, film star and comedienne Fanny Brice and her stormy relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nick Arnstein. If the project comes off I predict it will be an instant sell out at the Menier with West End and Broadway transfers very much  on the cards.

Smith is a prolific actress who is very much in demand, always working on different projects. She will soon be seen on the big screen in The Huntsman  and her new hard hitting three part police drama series Black Work is due to air on ITV on Sunday 21st June at 9:00 pm

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