Sheridan Smith will join Funny Girl tour

Funny Girl - Sheridan Smith (Fanny Brice) - picture by Marc Brenner

Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl. Picture: Marc Brenner

Sheridan Smith is to take her acclaimed performance as Fanny Brice on the road when she joins next year’s Funny Girl tour at selected venues in the UK and Ireland.

The news about the star, who recently made a triumphant return to the sell-out show at London’s Savoy Theatre following illness, is the first casting update for the tour which begins in Manchester on 18 February 2017.

Smith is lined up to play Brice in Manchester, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Bristol, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Newcastle, Southampton, Bradford, Southend, Cardiff and Dublin. Further casting is to be announced at a later date.

Loosely based on the life of Ziegfeld Follies star, the comedienne Fanny Brice, and focusing on her turbulent relationship with charismatic gambler Nicky Arnstein, Funny Girl was the vehicle that took Barbra Streisand from Broadway to Hollywood. Over 50 years after the show’s debut, one of Broadway’s biggest and busiest names, Harvey Fierstein, was brought in to turn the show into a musical fit for both its new leading lady and a modern audience.

With music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill, book by Isobel Lennart and a revised book by Fierstein, the show which includes timeless songs like ‘People’ and ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’, proved to be an instant hit with audiences and critics when it opened at the Menier in November last year.

Directed by Michael Mayer, the record-breaking Menier Chocolate Factory production is due to end its run at the Savoy on 8 October.

The touring production will launch at the Manchester Palace Theatre (18-25 February) and will then play the Milton Keynes Theatre (28 February-4 March), the Liverpool Empire (7-11 March), the Bristol Hippodrome (21-25 March), Stoke’s Regent Theatre (28 March-1 April), His Majesty’s Aberdeen (10-15 April), Edinburgh Playhouse (18-22 April), Woking’s New Victoria Theatre (25-29 April), Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre (2-6 May), Birmingham Hippodrome (9-13 May), Newcastle Theatre Royal (16-20 May), Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre (22-27 May), Glasgow’s King’s Theatre (30 May-3 June), Bradford Alhambra ( 6-10 June), Nottingham Theatre Royal (12-17 June), Southend Cliffs Pavilion (20-24 June), Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (4-8 July), Bord Gais, Dublin (11-15 July) and Venue Cymru, Llandudno (18-22 July).

Choreography is by Lynn Page, with set design by Michael Pavelka, costume design by Matthew Wright, lighting design by Mark Henderson and sound design by Richard Brooker, musical supervisor and arrangements by Alan Williams and orchestrations by Chris Walker.

Funny Girl is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions; Scott Landis Productions; Chocolate Factory Productions, Dante Di Loreto and Michael Harrison.

Angela Thomas


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