Admittedly I had never heard of Fanny Brice before I sat down to an evening performance of Funny Girl at His Majesty’s Theatre, but as the final curtain I was rooting for the charming Broadway star.
Following the life of the original comedienne, Funny Girl showed how Fanny stood out in a sea of identical skinny chorus girls with a little help from her family and friends in Brooklyn, New York, and, eventually, her suave husband Nick Arnstein.
Though I’m not usually a fan of jazz hands and impromptu dance numbers, the energy of Funny Girl was infectious and I couldn’t help but root for Natasha J Barnes’ portrayal of a girl who dared to be funny, rather than sweet. Playing the role of Nick Arnstein was old TV favourite Darius Campbell but far from being a cameo appearance, he exuded charm and his voice was undeniably beautiful.
Natasha’s comedic timing was perfect and the relationship with her mother, played by Rachel Izen, felt real and warm.