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Funny Girl Opens to Rave Reviews and extends West End run

Friday, 4 December 2015

Following a critically acclaimed opening at the Menier Chocolate Factory this week, the smash hit production of Funny Girl extends its booking period at the Savoy Theatre due to popular demand. Michael Mayer’s “exhilarating embrace of a production – Independent” will now run until 10 September 2016 – marking the musical’s 50th anniversary year. Tickets for the extended booking period production starring Olivier and BAFTA award-winning actress and “phenomenal talent – Independent” Sheridan Smith as Fanny Brice go on sale today.

“Sheridan Smith is one of British Theatre’s truly golden performers – a versatile star who thrills with her ability to be simultaneously touching and hilarious. Here she’s on glorious form.”

Evening Standard

With music by Jule Styne (whose musical Gypsy recently completed its award-winning run at the Savoy Theatre, starring Imelda Staunton), lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart, the Broadway smash which skyrocketed Barbra Streisand to stardom, is revived with book revisions by Harvey Fierstein. Sheridan Smith plays Fanny Brice, who rose from being a Brooklyn music hall singer to become one of Broadway's biggest stars under producer Florenz Ziegfeld.  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", “I’m the Greatest Star” and "Don't Rain on My Parade", this brand new production promises to be the must-see musical of 2016.

Sheridan Smith plays Fanny Brice. She has previously won two Olivier Awards, the first for her leading role as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde at the Savoy, and the second for Flare Path at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Other stage work includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Michael Grandage (Noel Coward), Hedda Gabler (Old Vic), Tinderbox (Bush Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Menier Chocolate Factory and Duke of York’s Theatre), and Into the Woods (Donmar Warehouse). For her television work, she won a BAFTA for her performance in ITV’s Mrs Biggs. She has twice been nominated for an International Emmy, for Mrs Biggs and Cilla, for which she won the National TV Award and received a second BAFTA nomination.  Other television includes The C Word, Inside Number 9, Black Work, The 7:39, The Scapegoat, Jimmy McGovern’s Accused, Jonathan Creek, Gavin and Stacey, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Love Soup and The Royle Family. Her film work includes The Huntsman (to be released in 2016), Quartet, Powder Room, The Harry Hill Movie, Tower Block, and Hysteria.

Michael Mayer directs. His West End credits include Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith and Novello Theatre) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Shaftesbury Theatre). For Broadway his work includes Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Tony Award 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 Award nomination for Best Direction of a Musical).  For television, his work includes Smash and Alpha House, and for film his credits include A Home at the End of the World, Flicka and currently in post-production, Chekhov's The Seagull.  He made his Metropolitan Opera debut with a celebrated new production of Rigoletto.

Choreography is by Lynne Page, with set design by Michael Pavelka, costume designer by Matthew Wright, lighting design by Mark Henderson and sound designer by Richard Brooker, the musical supervisor is Alan Williams and orchestrations are by Chris Walker.

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