Reviews round-up: Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl

A reviews round-up for Funny Girl starring Sheridan Smith at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

The highly anticipated production of Funny Girl starring Sheridan Smith opened to critical acclaim last night at the Menier Chocolate Factory. With the critics all agreeing Smith truly is a star performer. With obvious comparisons with Barbra Streisand who originated the role, Smith has found a way to make it her own with her comic timing truly shining through the performance.

For the unlucky many who weren’t able to secure a ticket to the Menier production, we can all be thankful it transfers to the Savoy theatre for an extended run early next year.

Funny Girl is directed by Michael Mayer with choreography by Lynne Page and design by Michael Pavelka.

CAST RECORDING

Funny Girl (London cast recording with Sheridan Smith): AMAZON

Average rating score for this production:
AVERAGE STAR RATING

REVIEWS ROUND-UP

“Sheridan Smith pulls off the impossible. She has done what no actress has managed to do since this musical’s 1964 Broadway premiere. That is, follow in Barbra Streisand’s footsteps as the irrepressible Ziegfeld Follies comedienne Fanny Brice and, not only play the part for the first time on the London stage in 50 years, but do so with such terrific aplomb that she has finally laid to rest the idea that no one but Streisand (who made her name in the role) could pull it off.”

“She doesn’t have Streisand’s voice (go figure) but her comic timing is better. She is about as funny as any girl has ever been wielding a giant feather fan, pretending not to be seduced by Arnstein, played somewhat lugubriously by the singer Darius Campbell.
Smith is terrific and I’m not going to rain on what is, most certainly, her wonderful parade.”

“Sheridan Smith is exactly as great as you'd expect as she steps into Barbra Streisand's iconic shoes.

It’s a one-woman-show, and that woman nails it – only a fool would rain on Sheridan Smith’s parade”

“It may be a poor man’s Gypsy and Barbra Streisand has hitherto owned the role, but this production exhibits real class and Smith is a constant joy to watch
Sheridan Smith and she brings to the role her own brand of exuberant mischief and spiritual warmth. Where audiences admired Streisand, they palpably adore Smith.
Smith can also put across a number. When she sings People, she reminds us that it is not a big belter but a touchingly rueful song about a woman yearning for a private life for which she’s never had time.
Smith avoids brassy rhetoric to suggest a lonely woman exulting in her new-found happiness. It’s an excellent performance that strips the role of armour-plated implacability to make Fanny a likeable human being.”

"Smith is truthful, sometimes gutsy and always a delight"


Date: 3 December 2015
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