Funny Girl




Fanny Brice Lara Young Tom Keeney Mick Thompsett Mrs Meeker Beverley Leitch Director Pat Thompsett
Nick Arnstein Ian Lambert Heckie Frank Worthy Renaldi Dave Beavis Musical Director Guy Middlemiss
Mrs Rose Brice Pam Akhurst Emma Tracey Paice Zeigfled Tenor Dedrik Finne Choreographer Christine Morris
Florenze Ziegfeld Brian Minchin Mrs Strakosh Laurie Bright        
Eddie Ryan Shane Wolfe Mrs O'Malley Rosemary Minchin     Photography Doug Spooner


Surrey Advertiser

Theo Spring                                                          

Star Rating: ****

This musical is demanding due to the fact that many of the songs have both tricky melodies and rely on the vocal strength and versatility of Fanny Brice, the leading lady. Lara Young captured Fanny's up-an-at-'em character, succeeding in creating an identifiable theatre-holic who just would not take no for an answer. Her solos were approached with determination which faltered only occasionally and she delivered her joint and chorus numbers effectively.

Nick Arnstein is the man who causes Fanny to battle between her love of the theatre and romance with Ian Lambert using his assured tones and a rou£ approach to make the romance believable. The poker playing ladies of Fanny's childhood each bring their different characters to life with Laurie Bright doing wonders with the nosy Mrs Strakosh, Beverley Leitch the gentler Mrs Meeker and Rosemary Minchin as the Irish Mrs O'Malley. Pam Akhurst created the fussy, proud, concerned Mrs Brice, never quite believing that Fanny stood a chance in the theatre and Tracey Paice played Fanny's faithful dresser with grace and loyalty. 

Of the era and a famous theatrical name, Brian Minchin's Florenz Zeigfeld was played with concern but needed a little more command of the stage and authority with Ziegfeld's production in which Fanny starred.

Eddie Ryan is Fanny's long-standing friend who hoped to offer more than friendship before Nick Arnstein swept her off her feet. Shane Wolfe has risen from the chorus to take the lead in many recent shows for WODS, starting, aged 16 with Arthur Kipps in Half A Sixpence. His Eddie Ryan showed a developed stage presence, an empathy with the character and good musical delivery.

Mick Thompsett and Dave Beavis added character roles as Tom Keeney and Renaldi.

Choreographer Christine Morris used the talent of her team of dancers in the dance numbers, adding members of the chorus where required - a chorus who provided an animated background for the tale.

Musical Director Guy Middlemiss conducted a sizeable orchestra to good effect and Pat Thompsett was at the helm as Director - creating and overseeing a musical few amateurs are prepared to tackle.