Sounds Musical Theatre Company, Devonport Playhouse, 13th – 16th March
Funny Girl is an intriguing musical based on the real life story of Fanny Brice. From humble beginnings, she rises to fame and shows the audience that funny girls belong on-stage just as much as graceful girls.
Sounds Musical Theatre Company were supported by an eight piece orchestra led by Marcus Alleyne. The overture gave us a tantalising glimpse of the musical acrobatics that were to come. The band created a rich and exciting sound, perfect for setting the scene of Fanny’s story.
Since the story revolves around the life of Fanny Brice, it is a huge part to take on for any professional or amateur actress. Kate Stables boldly stepped up to the job and performed the huge vocal numbers ‘People’ and ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’, but the most impressive aspect of her performance were her acting skills. The audience felt her heartache, her joy and all the emotions in between on her journey to become a theatre star. Her comedic timing was excellent, as was her delivery of the more serious scenes and moments.The scene between Fanny and Florenz Ziegfeld (Tom Harwood) incited laughter from the audience as Fanny peered into the audience to talk to Ziegfeld who was standing in the circle of the theatre. This was a great use of space and added to the humour of the scene.
During some of the ensemble numbers the company could have benefitted from the support of the young dancers with whom Sounds Musical often perform. In particular, for the scenes in which we were watching the Ziegfeld Follies on-stage.
Funny Girl leaves no room to relax with quick scene changes, big ensemble numbers and multiple fabulous costumes. Overall, the cast produced smooth transitions and kept the show moving along at a fast and exciting pace.