Review: Funny Girls at Tyne Theatre

Review: Funny Girls at Tyne Theatre

Funny Girls – Tyne Theatre and Opera House

9th June 2023

I like to take a photograph of the ‘preset’ before a show but there is something very comforting about seeing the tabs in as well and this what how the show started this evening. Very traditional and lovely. In fact, this production used the main tabs very effectively throughout the show and must have kept the flyperson busy so kudos to them. 

I have mentioned jukebox musicals before with varying degrees of distain and praise. This was a musical juke box and enthralled the audience from the opening of Chicago to Diamond’s customary finale of John Miles’ ‘Music.’

Betty ‘Legs’ Diamond is no stranger to the area having spent several happy years at Boulevard where she worked with Miss Rory, who I reviewed only a few weeks ago with their fantastic Winging it show in the same venue. Diamond is also a drag act but the show is so much more than that. It is carefully considered, very high camp which the audience lapped up and transcends musical theatre, through exquisite choreography to musical theatre and into burlesque. 

Betty is joined by a cast of wonderful performers and superb dancers all of whom contribute to a show that offers laughs, naughtiness, superb dancing and a hearty dose of glitz and glamour. Unlike many performers, Betty announces her cast right from the start and I am going to do the same because from the baby-faced Max to chisel featured Paul, they all brought their own charm and glamour to a very unique show that could grace any stage from the west end to broadway and even Las Vegas along with Lewis, Jack, and the magnificent Fanny Fossil.

We are taken on a fantastic journey through musical theatre which is right up my street and tickled the fancy of the very appreciative audience this evening giving a well-deservedstanding ovation at the end. Betty and her fabulous cast also joined members of the audience in the bistro bar to say hello and were only too happy to have photos taken and chat at the conclusion of a wonderful performance.

Cabaret seems to have been lost to theatres in this modern age but this production goes to show that it is not forgotten. Unfortunately, this was the last show from this tour but I am told that Betty is working on several new projects including a Halloween show and a pantomime run later in the year. She also intimated that she would very much like to return to the north east and particularly Newcastle where she is clearly adored. 

I, for one, am very much looking forward to seeing her high kicks and effortless splits back in the region again very soon. 

– Stephen Stokoe

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