Sold-Out Menier Chocolate Factory Funny Girl Announces West End Transfer

News   Sold-Out Menier Chocolate Factory Funny Girl Announces West End Transfer
The previously announced London production of Funny Girl,  which sold out its entire run at the Menier Chocolate Factory within 90 minutes of going on sale, has now set West End dates for a transfer before it has even opened at its home theatre.

The Menier run will begin performances Nov. 20 prior to an official opening Dec. 2, for a limited run through March 5. It will then begin performances at the West End's Savoy Theatre April 9, for a limited 12-week run through July 12.

Sheridan Smith headlines as Fanny Brice, joined by Darius Campbell as Nick Arnstein and Marilyn Cutts as Mrs Brice, with Valda Aviks (Mrs. O’Malley), Natasha J Barnes (Emma/Mrs Meeker), Maurice Lane (Mr. Keeney), Bruce Montague (Ziegfeld), Joel Montague (Eddie) and Gay Soper (Mrs. Strakosh). Completing the ensemble are Emma Caffrey, Matthew Croke, Joelle Dyson, Rebecca Fennelly, Luke Fetherston, Leah Harris, Kelly Homewood, Sammy Kelly and Stuart Ramsay.

In a press statement, David Babani, artistic director of the Menier, commented, "We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for Funny Girl – the show broke Menier box office records when it sold out its entire run in just 90 minutes. We felt it was very important to respond to demand so we’re delighted to be joining forces with Sonia Friedman and Scott Landis to give Funny Girl a future life. We want to share it with as wide an audience as possible and to make Michael Mayer's production as accessible to all, we’re offering £15 day seats – available for every performance at the Savoy Theatre."

Co-producers Friedman and Landis added, "2016 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the original London production of Funny Girl. It's enormously exciting to be bringing this legendary musical back to the West End for the first time since 1966, in a brand new production starring the incredible Sheridan Smith. We are also thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the hugely gifted, multi-award winning Broadway director Michael Mayer."

The musical has music by Jule Styne, with lyrics by Bob Merrill. The book is by Isobel Lennart; it has been revised for this production by Harvey Fierstein. 

The production is being directed by Michael Mayer, with sets by Michael Pavelka, costumes by Matthew Wright, choreography by Lynne Page, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Richard Brooker. The musical supervisor is Alan Williams, with orchestrations by Chris Walker. 

The show, which originally made a star of Barbra Streisand, tells the story of Fanny Brice, who rose from the Lower East Side of New York 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.

Smith previously appeared at the Menier in its 2006 revival of Little Shop of Horrors that subsequently transferred to the West End's Duke of York's. The production also toured (without Smith). She most recently appeared on stage in A Midsummer Night's Dream for the Michael Grandage Company at the Noel Coward Theatre. Other stage credits include 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). TV credits include "Blackwork," "The C Word," "Cilla," "Mrs. Biggs" (BAFTA Best Actress), "Jonathan Creek," "Gavin & Stacey," "Larkrise to Candleford," "Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps" and "The Royal Family."

Darius Campbell, who plays Nick Arnstein, has appeared in the West End in Chicago, Guys and Dolls, Gone with the Wind and From Here to Eternity. As a recording artist, his first single "Colourblind" went to #1 on the UK singles chart.

To book tickets for the West End run, which go on general sale Nov. 16, contact the box office on 0844 871 7687 or visit

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