Full casting is announced today for the tour of Funny Girl which enjoyed critically acclaimed and record-breaking sold-out runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Savoy Theatre. Playing opposite Sheridan Smith is Chris Peluso as Nick Arnstein. They will perform in Manchester – where the tour opens at the Palace Theatre from 18 to 25 February 2017 – as well as Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Bristol, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Newcastle, Southampton, Bradford, Southend, Cardiff and Dublin.
Also announced today, the run will extend for a further two weeks, returning to Manchester to complete its run with Smith and Peluso playing the final dates. Natasha J Barnes and Darius Campbell will play Fanny Brice and Nick Arnstein in Stoke, Aberdeen, Woking, Canterbury, Glasgow, Nottingham, Norwich, Llandudno, Wolverhampton and Plymouth. Patrons should check with venues for the performance playing schedule.
They are joined by Nigel Barber (Florenz Ziegfeld), Zoë Ann Bown (Mrs. Meeker), Martin Callaghan (Mr. Keeney), Jennifer Harding (Emma), Rachel Izen (Mrs Brice), Joshua Lay (Eddie) and Myra Sands (Mrs. Strakosh); with Rhianne Alleyne, Kit Benjamin, Lloyd Davies, Flora Dawson, Joseph Dockree, Abigayle Honeywill, Brontë Lavine, David Mcintosh, Peter Nash, Gillian Parkhouse, Tom Partridge, Nova Skipp, Alexandra Waite-Roberts, Sam Wingfield and Alexandra Wright.
Funny Girl brought global fame to Barbra Streisand 50 years ago and boasts some of the most iconic songs in film and theatre history, including People and Don’t Rain On My Parade. This ‘iconic, legendary, laugh-out-loud’ (The Times) musical tells the story of Fanny Brice, whose vocal talents and comedic ability see her rise from Brooklyn music hall singer to Broadway star.
Sheridan Smith reprises her smash hit performance in the role of Fanny Brice. Her other theatre work includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Michael Grandage Company at the Noel Coward Theatre), Hedda Gabler (Old Vic), Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket – Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress, Evening Standard Theatre Award and Critics’ Circle Theatre Award 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). For television, her credits include The Moorside Project, Blackwork, The C Word, Cilla, The Widower, The 7.39, Dates, Mr Stink, Mrs Biggs (BAFTA Award for Best Actress), Accused, Scapegoat, Little Crackers, Jonathan Creek, Gavin & Stacey, Larkrise to Candleford, Grown Ups, Love Soup, Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps, The Royle Family and Wives and Daughters; and for film, The Huntsman, Powder Room, Quartet, Tower Block and Hysteria.
Chris Peluso plays Nick Arnstein. His theatre work in the UK includes Show Boat (New London Theatre) and Miss Saigon (Prince Edward Theatre); and in the US, Mamma Mia! (Winter Garden Theater), Beautiful (Stephen Sondheim Theater), Wicked (tour), The Glorious One (The Lincoln Center), Assassins (Studio 54) and Lestat (Palace Theater).
Natasha J Barnes returns to play Fanny Brice, a role she performed to critical acclaim as alternate to Sheridan Smith during the West End run. She is currently playing the title role in the all-star Cinderella at the London Palladium. Her other theatre work includes American Idiot (Arts Theatre), The Boy Who Fell Into a Book (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Chess (Union Theatre), Snow White (Old Vic Theatre and tour), Come Dancing, I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Lend Me a Tenor (Gielgud Theatre) and Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith and Novello Theatre).
Following runs at the Menier and in the West End, Darius Campbell returns to play Nick Arnstein. His theatre work includes in the West End, Chicago, Guys and Dolls, Gone with the Wind, and From Here to Eternity; Carmen (Europe and 02) and The History of the Big Bands (tour). Also a recording artist, his first single Colourblind went to #1 in the UK singles chart.
Director Michael Mayer’s 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.