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The double Olivier Award-winner returns to the company of Funny Girl at the Savoy Theatre.
Producers of the London revival of Funny Girl, which is currently playing at the Savoy Theatre, have confirmed that double Olivier Award-winning actress Sheridan Smith has returned to the company and the role of Fanny Brice following a leave of absence.
In a statement announced on social media, it was confirmed that Smith returned to the role on Friday 8 July, and will begin performances again this week, with her understudy Natasha Barnes playing the role on Wednesday 13 July matinee and Thursday 14 July evening performance. From next week, commencing 18 July, Sheridan Smith is scheduled to perform Tuesday through Saturday, with Ms Barnes scheduled to play Monday evening performances.
The schedule is subject to change, and audiences are encouraged to follow the show on Twitter to stay up to date with news directly from the production.
The first West End revival of Funny Girl opened at the Savoy Theatre on 20 April 2016 following previews from 9 April, and is running until 8 October 2016. The production, which is directed by Michael Mayer, originally opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory in south London. Featuring a score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, book by Isobel Lennart, this production features a revised book by Harvey Fierstein, and marks the first London production since the 1966 original which ran at the Prince of Wales Theatre starring Barbra Streisand.
The iconic musical charts the life of Fanny Brice, who rose from the Lower East Side of New York to become one of Broadway's biggest stars under producer Florenz Ziegfield. While she was cheered onstage as a great comedienne, offstage she faced a doomed relationship with the man she loved. Jule Styne's score features the classic songs "People", "You Are Woman, I Am Man" and "Don't Rain on My Parade".
The show opened to very good reviews from the popular press, with our critic, Mark Shenton, awarding the show 5 stars, saying: "Michael Mayer's loving production ensures it is not merely a solo vehicle for Smith, but also a fully integrated show that has some great chorus numbers."
Sheridan Smith has won two Olivier Awards for her stage work, the first for creating the role of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde the Musical which also ran at the Savoy, and the second for Trevor Nunn's revival of Flare Path.