Reviewed at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury on 03/05/17
It’s always a unique privilege to head into a show with no prior knowledge of it’s contents, especially one as theatrically famous as Funny Girl. So we walked in with open mind ready to experience one of 2016’s most discussed shows in the West-End.
Funny Girl follows the life and career of Fanny Brice, the Broadway star, film actress and Comedienne. Following through her break into the arts, struggles to fit in then finding the balance between the two loves of her life.
The run at Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre featured Natasha Barnes in the lead, and we couldn’t of wished for a better performance. We’re lucky that this current production has two of the finest actresses (Natasha Barnes & Sheridan Smith) currently working in the UK sharing the role, it really opens up that opportunity for multiple viewings if that’s your thing!
The set design was surprisingly claustrophobic for such a large venue, which helped to bring the intimacy of old-school theatre to the modern architecture of the Marlowe.
The cast really lay the foundations for an outstanding lead performance for Natasha, with Darius Campbell switching on his charm while building upon and then exposing Nick Arnstein’s flaws to lead Barnes into pleading her soul out during the climax, making the plot lines converge into one outburst of emotion. This is mixed with slapstick comedy throughout the evening that never becomes overwhelming, always managing to tread the line to not become larger than life and an cartoon impression of the source material.
Funny Girl lives up to the chatter in the theatre world, offering that true Broadway experience in your local theatre.
Funny Girl tours throughout 2017, please visit www.funnygirlthemusical.co.uk for dates.