SHERIDAN SMITH RETURNS TO THE MENIER CHOCOLATE FACTORY TO PLAY FANNY BRICE IN FUNNY GIRL
The Menier Chocolate Factory today announces that award-winning actress Sheridan Smithreturns to the theatre to play Fanny Brice in a major new revival of Funny Girl. The multi award-winning Michael Mayer directs the production, which opens on 2 December, with previews from 20 November, and runs until 5 March 2016. This production is presented in association with Sonia Friedman Productions and Scott Landis.
Funny Girl returns to the London stage for the first time since its 1966 première. With music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart, the Broadway smash which skyrocketed Barbra Streisand to stardom, is revived with Sheridan Smith playing Fanny Brice, who rose from the Lower East Side of New York to become one of Broadway’s biggest stars under producer Florenz Ziegfield. While she was cheered onstage as a great comedienne, offstage she faced a doomed relationship with the man she loved. With a score featuring now-classic songs such as “People”, “You Are Woman, I Am Man” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade”, this brand new production promises to be a major theatrical event .
Sheridan Smith returns to the Menier Chocolate Factory to play Fanny Brice. She previously appeared in Little Shop of Horrors for the company (also Duke of York’s Theatre). Her other theatre work includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Michael Grandage Company at the Noel Coward Theatre), Hedda Gabler (Old Vic), Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket – Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Actress), Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre – Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical), Tinderbox (Bush Theatre), The People are Friendly (Royal Court) and Into the Woods (Donmar Warehouse). For television, her credits include Blackwork, The C Word, Cilla, The Widower, The 7.39, Dates, Mr Stink, Mrs Biggs (BAFTA Best Actress), Accused, Scapegoat, Little Crackers, Jonathan Creek, Gavin & Stacey, Larkrise to Candleford, Grown Ups, Love Soup, Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps, The Royale Family and Wives and Daughters; and for film, The Huntsman, Powder Room, Quartet, Tower Block and Hysteria.
Michael Mayer directs. His West End credits include Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith and Novello) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Shaftesbury Theatre). For Broadway his work includes Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Tony nomination for Best Director), On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, American Idiot (Drama Desk Award for Best Director of a Musical), Spring Awakening (Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Drama Desk Award for Best Direction of a Musical) and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Drama Desk nomination for Best Direction of a Musical). For television, his work includes Smash; and for film, A Home at the End of the World, Flicka and currently in production, Chekhov’s The Seagull.
Tickets go on sale to the Menier Chocolate Factory supporters at 9am on Monday 10 August, with public booking opening at 9am on Monday 17 August.
Music by Jule Styne Lyrics by Bob Merrill
Book by Isobel Lennart
Director: Michael Mayer; Designer: Michael Pavelka; Choreographer: Lynne Page
Lighting Designer: Mark Henderson; Sound Designer: Richard Brooker
Musical Supervisor: Alan Williams
20 November 2015 – 5 March 2016
Press night: 2 December 2015 at 8pm
Photo: JO METSON SCOTT