Funny Girl Will Return to London’s West End
London is preparing to welcome back “the greatest star”! Fanny Brice hasn’t been seen on stage in London or on Broadway since she first appeared 50 years ago! However, that is all about to change. Originally slated to be a limited engagement in the Off-West End, that has already all changed before performances for Funny Girl have even officially begun. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news the Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Funny Girl will return to London’s West End!
The upcoming Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Funny Girl is so highly anticipated that it’s entire run sold out within 90 minutes of going on sale. On the heels of that anticipation, producers of the revival have now announced the show will head to London’s West End following it’s run at Menier. The Menier Chocolate Factory (Pictured Right) run begins November 20th, 2015 before officially opening December 2nd. That limited engagement runs through March 5th, 2016. The production will than transfer to the Savoy Theatre beginning performances April 9th, 2016. On the West End, the show will run for a limited engagement of 12 weeks only through July 12th.
Headlining Funny Girl‘s return to the stage is Sheridan Smith (Pictured Left) as Fanny Brice. Other leading characters include Darius Campbell as Nick Arnstein, Marilyn Cutts as Mrs. Brice, Valda Aviks as Mrs. O’Malley, Natasha J. Barnes as Emma/Mrs. Meeker, Maurice Lane as Mr. Keeney, Bruce Montague as Ziegfeld, Joel Montague as Eddie and Gay Soper as Mrs. Strakosh. The ensemble includes Emma Caffrey, Matthew Croke, Joelle Dyson, Rebecca Fennelly, Luke Fetherston, Leah Harris, Kelly Homewood, Sammy Kelly and Stuart Ramsay.
Tony Award winner Michael Mayer mounts Funny Girl‘s return to the stage as director with choreography by Lynne Page. The rest of the creative team includes Michael Pavelka as scenic designer, Matthew Wright as costume designer, Mark Henderson as lighting designer and Richard Brooker as sound designer. Alan Williams is musical supervisor while Chris Walker provides orchestrations.
Menier Chocolate Factory artistic director David Babani released a statement regarding his delight in audiences in anticipation for the upcoming revival saying;
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for Funny Girl – the show broke Menier box office records when it sold out its entire run in just 90 minutes. We felt it was very important to respond to demand so we’re delighted to be joining forces with Sonia Friedman and Scott Landis to give Funny Girl a future life. We want to share it with as wide an audience as possible and to make Michael Mayer’s production as accessible to all, we’re offering £15 day seats – available for every performance at the Savoy Theatre.”
Funny Girl returns to London’s West End just in time for the productions 50th anniversary! The production will take up residence in the Savoy Theatre (Pictured Right) which was recently home to Gypsy. The production’s return will mark the first time Funny Girl has been seen in the West End since it’s debut in 1966. Funny Girl was slated for a Broadway revival back in 2012, following an out-of-town tryout in Los Angeles, but that was later canceled due to”financial reasons”. No further word on a revival has been made since. Audiences are hungry for a return of this classic Broadway show! I think that is evident with the five month chocolate factory run selling out in 90 minutes. I believe producers have been hesitant to return this show to the stage since it is the production that skyrocketed Barbra Streisand to fame. I think they worry about delivering that “next star” appeal in a headliner. However, with many upcoming young talented stars across the entertainment scene, now is a better time than ever to bring Funny Girl back to the stage! It’s also a perfect time considering Funny Girl turns 50 in 2016! Ryan Murphy, creator of Glee and American Horror Story, owns the rights to the production here in the United States and has stated interest in producing the show with Lea Michele on board. However, he recently revealed that project has hit the back burner fearing a lack of interest after showcasing much of the musical on Glee.
Luner on Theatre is looking forward to the return of Funny Girl to the stage in London’s West End! We’ll keep you updated on the production as it debuts as Menier Chocolate Factory next month and eventually makes its way to the West End. Stay tuned for more! For more information, visit Funny Girl’s Official Website, Facebook Page or Twitter. (Copyright Note;Unless noted, we do not own/claim ownership for any photos used in this post)And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!