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  • Writer's pictureSophie Harkness

Funny Girl UK Tour (Manchester) Review

The Palace Theatre, Manchester

Hellooo! The other day I booked another one of my last minute tickets for Funny Girl in Manchester! There was a single seat left on the back row of the stalls for the Saturday matinee so I went for it with it being £40.50 including fees for seat V25. I saw the show in Bradford in June and wanted to go to one of the Manchester but being a student on a budget, the ticket prices were a bit pricey for my purse! However, last week I overheard a couple of people round Uni talking about Funny Girl and immediately wanted to go again as I felt like it would be a missed opportunity if I didn't so I began my quest to find the best value ticket for my budget! I wanted to go to the evening performance with it being the last show of the tour and everything but I didn't want to be travelling home on my own at 10-11pm so I settled on going to the matinee and I am SO glad I did!

This was my second trip to the Palace Theatre in Manchester having sat near the front of the stalls for Wonderland and then sitting in the back of the stalls for Funny Girl. I really like the Palace Theatre and the stalls have a decent rake to them so you can see over the people in front of you without having heads in the way. The circle above hangs down and covers the top part of the set but Funny Girl is all on kind of ground level so this wasn't a problem. If you were going to see a show like Wicked, you'd probably miss Elphaba's flight in Defying Gravity and Glinda's arrival in her Bubble if you sat towards the back of the stalls.

The view from V25

When I booked the ticket, I didn't know whether to pick the seat at the back at the stalls or get one of the same priced tickets on the Circle or Grand Tier but I'm very glad I went for the stalls. The sound was spot on and was so much better than sitting in one of the higher tiers and everything could be seen without a problem! I mean obviously you couldn't see the detail in the actor's faces but you could still see their expressions well enough. I was sat bang in the middle, directly in front of the sound desk and there were also cameras dotted around the theatre as they were filming the performance for something which was interesting!

Darius Campbell!

Last time I saw the show, I had booked to see Sheridan Smith play the lead of Fanny Brice but unfortunately she was away from the tour ill at that time so I saw Natasha J Barnes play the lead instead who did not disappoint! This time however, I was lucky enough to see Sheridan Smith! Now don't get me wrong, Natasha was incredible but there was just something amazing about how Sheridan portrayed the role. The whole show was on top form yesterday afternoon which I think was helped by the atmosphere throughout the theatre with the way the audience responded to the jokes and musical numbers throughout the show. Everyone was laughing at the comedy, cheering after the songs and was mesmerised by the whole performance. On the whole, the audience was pretty well behaved I'd say! One thing I noticed though, was that when the orchestra was performing the Entr'acte just before Act 2 began, most of the audience was still talking amongst themselves until Sheridan walked out which I felt was a bit rude but hey.

As I said before, Sheridan Smith was amazing and she really is a star! Darius Campbell was incredible again as Nick Arnstein and the pair worked together seamlessly. The whole cast was incredible and the versatility of the members of the ensemble never fails to amaze me! At the end of the show, the entire stalls gave the cast a well deserved standing ovation and although I couldn't see the Circle and the Grand Tier, I imagine that they did as well!

The programme and bits and bobs

I also hung around at the stage door afterwards as I had a while before I had to catch my train and thought 'why not' and managed to meet Darius Campbell! He's one of the nicest people I've ever met and was so patient and kind with everyone who was waiting to meet the cast. It was also the most organised and efficient stage door type experience I've ever had! Darius came out and asked who wanted things signing and went around and signed all those before doing the same with people who wanted pictures. This did mean that there wasn't much of a chance to have a conversation with him but he did manage to get around everyone who was waiting which was SO nice of him. Unfortunately, Sheridan didn't come out but to be honest I wasn't expecting anyone to come out with it being a matinee performance so I was very happy!

Funny Girl was incredible yet again and the whole cast were outstanding! It's easy to see why the show is such a hit and why Sheridan is so popular! Her singing and acting was incredible and she was strong throughout both the comedic parts of the first act and the more serious sections of the second act. Darius was also amazing throughout the show and I felt honoured to be in the audience for the second to last performance of the tour!

Thanks for reading! Sophie

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