Last week mum and I went to see Funny Girl at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth (thanks Mum!). Funny Girl has always been on my list of all time favourite films so I was pretty excited to see it.
If you don’t know the story, Funny Girl is based on the story of Fania Borach born in 1891 who rises to fame and really does marry Nicky Arnstein who really is a bit dodgy. The real Fanny Brice had a very full career full of fame, she sadly died in 1951 at the age of 59.
The film of the same name stars Barbara Streisand and includes some of the best songs, including I’d Rather Be Blue, People, I’m The Greatest Star and of course, Don’t Rain On My Parade. I was very interested to see how they’d add in some singing parts for Darius Campbell (formally Danesh, of Pop Stars Fame) and Nicky Arnstein (played by Omar Sheriff) basically talks his way through a song called You Are Woman, I Am Man, as although he is devastatingly handsome he cannot hold a tune.
As the lights went down and the overture started, I noticed how much fun it looked like the orchestra were having – alot of the tunes are good fun so it was lovely to see them having so much joy with it!
The staging and set design were brilliant, I especially loved when it was set to look as if you were behind the stage, so the back of the actual stage looked like the front, it was very immersive.
As soon as the second number of the show started – I’m The Greatest Star and Natasha J Barnes as Fanny Brice started to sing one of my all time favourite songs, I knew we were in for something special.
Natasha J Barnes has the most amazing voice, she captured the songs and the heart of Fanny Brice perfectly. I genuinely cannot stress to you how phenomenal her voice is. I mean, just wow. People made me shed a tear and Don’t Rain On My Parade as the final song before the interval gave me actual goosebumps. As she held the last note I could hear people whispering about how amazing she was.
The odd thing went wrong during the perfomance, a chair leg fell off, she sat awkwardly during You Are Woman, I Am Man and there was a hilarious moustache incident during Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat, all of which were handled with grace and excellent good humour, the audience cried with laughter watching Natasha and Darius trying to finish You Are Woman, I Am Man without laughing.
The entire cast were wonderful, the songs, dancing, costumes, props were all perfect, I loved the parts with Mrs Brice, Mrs Meeker and Mrs Strakosh (and her married daughter Sadie). I liked how Darius as Nick Arnstein had songs to sing, showcasing his lovely voice.
If you get the chance to go and see Funny Girl, I urge you from the bottom of my soul to go and see it, if you’ve already seen it, go and see it again. Funny Girl was Funny, warm, beautifully produced, directed and choreographed, the orchestra were wonderful and the actors on stage were sheer, perfect joy to watch. Every single person in the audience were on their feet at the end. Natasha J Barnes is a true star with one of the best voices I have ever heard and if I never hear a song again, I will remain happy with the memory of her Finale in Funny Girl.
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