Stoke was graced by the West End smash Funny girl last night. The show is about the life of actress Fanny Brice and has had nothing but praise during its West End run. With this in mind, I couldn’t wait to see the show when it hit the Regent stage and I have fallen hook line and sinker in love with every detail of the show. It is a theatrical masterpiece there are no other words to describe it.

Natasha J Barnes was indeed the ‘Greatest Star.’ What a performance! She was comical and heart-breaking throughout. She also seemed exceptionally humble when the entire theatre gave her a standing ovation. Never in any theatre show I’ve seen has someone deserved an ovation more. She was simply stunning, she was born to play this role.

Darius Campbell was also an incredible presence on that stage when he talked the entire theatre listened. His voice was endearing and humble but also deep and dulcet. He was completely perfect for the role and the chemistry between Campbell and Barnes was completely electric.

I also adored Joshua Lay as Eddie. His dancing was completely mesmerising. I felt for him throughout the show and he and Rachel Izen as Mrs Brice were a perfect pairing whilst singing ‘Who Taught Her Everything She Knows?’ He oozed that boy next door charm needed for this role.  The ensemble in the show were completely superb throughout. Never a foot wrong in any of the dances.

Everything about this show was faultless. The choreography was stunning and had a brilliant mix of Tap and Ballet which I thought was creative, clever and charming. The singing throughout was pitch perfect Barnes singing ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ brought the entire theatre down the sound of cheering was echoing around the auditorium.  The costumes were all eye catching and period appropriate whilst being completely stunning. The set was pretty simple, yet completely effective. I adored the old fashioned theatre lights that draped the side of the stage. I also loved that the wings were almost mirrored for some of the chorus scenes this added an air of sophistication.

Everyone needs to go and see this show. Don’t even think about it just book. It is the single best piece of musical theatre you will see this year, if not this century. Perfect performances, stunning set, creative choreography and best of all its all on tour. Just go now!


Reviewer: Leanne Ashworth

Reviewed: 29th March 2017

North West End Rating: ★★★★★