Funny Girl at Birmingham Hippodrome

by Julie Wallis

Funny Girl at Birmingham Hippodrome

The UK tour of Funny Girl is at Birmingham Hippodrome until 13th May. Last night’s show was sold out, but if you can get tickets you are in for the theatrical night of your life!

Set at the start of last century, Sheridan Smith plays Fanny Brice, a young girl who wants to sing and dance, who meets her future husband Nicky Arnstein, played by Darius Campbell. Fanny starts at a vaudeville act and eventually gets the top slot working with the Ziegfeld follies, and is earning big bucks. Brice is not a traditional beauty like her fellow dancers but she can sing and is a great comedic act.

Funny Girl
Photo by Johan Persson

Funny Girl is based on a true story and it is absolute mind blowing brilliance. Sheridan Smith is not only a great actor and dancer but also a fantastic singer when she belts out Don’t Rain On My Parade, People and If a Girl Isn’t Pretty she literally had my jaw dropping and for her final rendition of Don’t Rain On My Parade she bought a genuine tear to my eye. Although this is not a sad story, it has a lot of fun intertwined some laugh out loud moments.

This is not the best show I have seen this year, it is the best show I have seen in my life!

Funny Girl - Sheridan Smith (Fanny Brice) by Marc Brenner
Sheridan Smith as Fanny Brice by Marc Brenner

Watching Sheridan Smith on stage last night she most certainly performing at her very best, and I could only compare her to the likes of Liza Minnelli or Judy Garland, her voice truly is and teamed with her fabulously funny acting Ms Smith certainly gave me a night to remember forever.

Teamed with Darius Campbell who plays the part of smooth, sophisticated and handsome suitor Nicky to perfection, these guys are a match made in heaven. With the most beautiful choreography throughout, this show is faultless, I saw guys leaping, turning and cartwheeling across the stage and the Ziegfeld Follies pirouette and dance on points.

Funny Girl
Funny Girl

Let’s be honest, how many times have you seen ballet performed by ladies dressed in soldiers outfits? (This was the scene where Ms Smith had a wardrobe malfunction with her stick on moustache, but being the professional she is, she ended up sticking it on her forehead, guaranteeing plenty more laughs)

As well as the stunning choreography I loved the beautiful costumes too, the Ziegfeld follies looked so beautifully elegant, whether dressed in their stage costumes with spangles and huge feather headdresses for the incredibly funny wedding scene or in their everyday clothes in the dressing room scenes the outfits on stage are always perfect.

I really don’t have the vocabulary to do this magical performance true justice, but it really is a phenomenal show. Last night ended with a huge standing ovation with whooping and cheering from a very excited audience, so I was not on my own in loving this show.

I enjoyed a couple of Hello Gorgeous cocktails when I arrived, a lovely champagne based cocktail, available in the bar area, I’m glad I did, as last night was definitely a champagne night.

See Funny Girl at Birmingham Hippodrome until Sat 13th May. Book tickets here:

Julie was invited on behalf of #BrumHour to see Funny Girl by Birmingham Hippodrome. She clearly loved it!