WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Fanny Brice. Wannabe star who might be lacking in the glamour stakes but more than makes up for it with her natural comic talents, charm and pure resilience. Turns out, the spotlight loves her. It’s based on the true story of Fanny, star of the famous Ziegfeld Follies in New York and a role made famous by Barbra Streisand in the film of the same name.
WHO’S IN IT?
The fabulous Sheridan Smith IS it. And she is spellbinding. From the moment she takes the stage she has the audience. It’s a demanding role; genuine comic timing required for cracking one-liners, deliberately ‘off’ dance steps, not to mention soul-bearing solos, perfect every time, that get to the heart of Fanny’s vulnerabilities. She nails it all. This Fanny you want to laugh with (not at!) and cry with. Quite simply you’re rooting for her.
She stars with singer Darius Campbell as the suave, handsome and not so reliable Nick Arnstein who loves her ‘just as she is’. He’s a great, sexy leading man and their scenes together are fabulous – his voice has great range – as are his moves in the glossy Hollywood dance routine in the number, Temporary Arrangement.
Together this pair have us in stitches with the seductive You are Woman, I am Man, a chaise-longue playing clown and cupid both – but there’s teary tenderness in other moments, such as the reflective Who Are You now?
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT?
Quality at every turn; immaculate dancing, a glorious set, the glamour, grit and humanity of the story itself. And those songs. People and Don’t Rain on My Parade are the big-hitters and Sheridan Smith gives them power (but not too much), nuance and soulful perfection. The cast is so ‘together’; they look like they are having a ball. Wit and warmth from Rachel Izen as Fanny’s wise Jewish mother and some riveting tap-dance moves from Joshua Lay as Fanny’s loyal dance teacher and friend.We know Sheridan Smith from so many roles and this just brings home what a talent she is – you’re watching a ‘national treasure’ in action and it’s a privilege.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT?
Folks who love a class act – this is a musical theatre as good as it gets.
WHEN IS IT ON?
It’s on until Saturday – but it’s a hot ticket!
To book tickets visit: theatreroyal.co.uk