Review: Funny Girl, Tamworth Musical Society

Kevin Mc Corriston as Snub Tailor and Natacha Curnow as Fanny Brice, with dancers Caleb Faulks, Jessica Curry-Stedman, Ethan Faulks, Leah Griffiths, Matt Letton, Tina Dawson, John Sevil and Alana Johnson. Photo: Angelina Nelson
Kevin Mc Corriston as Snub Tailor and Natacha Curnow as Fanny Brice, with dancers Caleb Faulks, Jessica Curry-Stedman, Ethan Faulks, Leah Griffiths, Matt Letton, Tina Dawson, John Sevil and Alana Johnson. Photo: Angelina Nelson

​Tamworth Musical Society’s latest, Funny Girl, is wrapping up this weekend, but there is still time to catch the show.

Two longtime Tamworth locals who move in entertainment circles were so awed by the production they took it upon themselves to submit reviews.

Read below to find out what 88.9 presenter Jon Wolfe and musician John Muller OAM thought of Funny Girl.

Brilliant, in a word: Jon Wolfe

There’s no doubt many would agree that the Tamworth Musical Society has mounted some superb shows over the years, and I am pleased to say that I have enjoyed my fair share of them, but the current production of Funny Girl at the Capitol Theatre outshines anything I have seen in the past 20-odd years.

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Everything about this show is breathtaking, from the cast to the orchestra, from the dancing to the sets, and director Ann Walsh certainly knew what she was doing when she cast Natasha Curnow in the lead role of Fanny Brice, who made a name for herself as a star of the famous Ziegfeld Follies, Hollywood films and radio.

Natacha seems born to play this role, as she brings a perfect mix of fun and credibility to the stage, and as she is on stage for most of the show, an energy that captivates and tugs at the funny bone and the heartstrings.

Anyone familiar with the songs from Funny Girl will know how demanding they are and Natacha proves more than up to the task and her sense of comedic timing is to die for – Fanny herself would have applauded loudly!

She is supported by the highly talented cast that Mrs Walsh has assembled.

Aaron Jones as the gambler and Fanny’s lover, Nick Arnstein, puts in a confidently restrained performance that is far removed from the usual somewhat quirky trademark playfulness we have come to expect from him.

Matt Letton is perfectly cast as Fanny’s friend and fellow dancer who is obviously in love with her.

Jennifer Ingall was completely in charge of the Jewish busybody Mrs Strakosh, and it’s good to see Deirdre Burke as Fanny’s mother, and Stephen Carter as Florenz Ziegfeld Jnr, back on stage.

Cherie Gaites has again excelled in the choreography department – the dances are a joy to watch and the ensemble cast never missed a beat.

Tim Godden had the orchestra primed and ready for opening night and the musicians proved to be the usual world-class act.

Peter Ross has designed a period-perfect set that seems to have a life of its own, but one that always breathes in sync with the music and the story.

The costumes, designed by Emily Docking, are also perfectly in tune with the period.

Theatre, and in particular musical theatre, is a team effort and the team behind this production of Funny Girl works like a well-oiled, highly star-studded machine.

Mrs Walsh, her cast, dancers, musicians and backstage hands must be congratulated on a superb production that begs for a long list of superlatives, but I will only use one – brilliant – and it applies to every single person involved.

You’ll rave about like I did: John Muller OAM

Have you been to see Tamworth Musical Society's production of Funny Girl at the Capitol Theatre?

After seeing Wednesday night’s show with my wife Mary and two sons Glenn and Peter, I can, as a longtime local musician, say it was one of the best – if not the best – locally produced concert I have seen in Tamworth.

Last Sunday, local music legend Bill Gleeson sent me an email saying Funny Girl, superbly directed by Ann Walsh, was tops in his ratings over many years.

This was a big wrap coming from Bill, who over a long period has acted, played piano and directed many top shows for Tamworth Musical Society.

Everyone associated with the production gave set designer and artistic director Peter Ross and his crew great support to put together this totally memorable concert.

A special mention must be made regarding Natacha Curnow, who plays Fanny Brice in the lead.

It is a demanding part, but she is such an entertaining singer with excellent acting ability to match this demanding role.

I was also most impressed with Matt Letton, who has an excellent vocal range to match his acting and dancing. I know he has all the right ingredients to be a success around the world.

All of the singers gave their 100 per cent effort.

The concert orchestra, conducted by gifted pianist Tim Godden, blended perfectly with all the performers.

There are two final shows on Saturday: a matinee at 2pm and the final performance at 8pm.

I know you will enjoy and rave about it like Bill Gleeson and I did.

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