They are the famous Funny Girls of Blackpool known for entertaining hundreds of thousands with top-notch high-camp cabaret and choreography not seen anywhere else...until now.
Basil Newby MBE owner of world renowned showbar has announced a cast, fronted by legendary performer Betty ‘Legs’ Diamond will go on tour next year in a first for the iconic Lancashire show.
After a quarter of a century of live performances from its first home in Queen Street to its current location at the former Grade II listed Odeon building in Dickson Road, the famous show for the first time in its history will venture beyond the shores of Blackpool for a 35 date tour, stretching the whole of the UK.
Having dazzled everyone from Royalty to Hollywood with their unique brand of charm and comedy, Basil, who bought back his ‘beloved club’ from Thwaites Brewery this summer, said it was a case of ‘right place, right time’ for the grand touring production.
The Funny Girls Tour will go out on the road in 2020, kicking off in March in Liverpool.
Basil said the creation of an all new production to showcase the world-renowned talents of the cast for a wider audience for the first time was ‘very special.’
He said: “I was once asked about a tour years ago but at the time I was very precious about the club - Funny Girls is unique to Blackpool and that’s what I wanted it to be but after 25 years and then having that time out and space to think when Geoffrey planted the seed of a new production - it just seemed right place, right time and the right way to show all the best bits of the show.
“And it’s also a chance to give something back to the audiences who have travelled themselves and been part of our story.
“We’ve welcomed people from world-wide through those doors, there has from the very beginning been a curiosity in what we are about and they’re never disappointed.”
Entertainer Simon Green who introduced his character Miss Betty Legs Diamond as part of the original 1994 Funny Girls cast said the tour would be a real showcase moment for the resort itself as it would remain at the heart of the show.
“Funny Girls is Blackpool and there have been so many, many highlights.
“The tour is a fresh challenge and a completely new show but the heart of what we do has never changed and that is in entertaining and making people laugh.
“Humour is world-wide, we’ve had audiences that don’t understand the language but if something is funny, it’s funny.
“That’s universal - the tour is the opportunity to reach those people, who over the years have maybe said ‘I’d love to go to Funny Girls’ but haven’t had the chance, to see what we do and in turn bring them, their family, their friends back to Blackpool.”
“Plus we need to do it while we still can.”
Longest serving funny girl DJ Zoe (Adrian Thornton), who has been at the helm for 25 years added: “It’s never mattered for us if the venue is packed out or just a few people, I remember a night where we had just four people in for the night’s show, they stayed until the very end and we all still gave it 110 per cent.
“We still all feel the same about it now - our audiences range from the typical hen parties to the person celebrating their 102nd birthday - it’s an eclectic mix but it shows the appeal, the show is literally for everyone and anyone.”
From Liverpool to Manchester, Edinburgh and the West End tour producer and executive producer and managing director of Showcase International Ltd Geoffrey Hindmarch said a nine-strong cast will perform a show like no other, promising the very best of 25 years of highlights.
The all new two - act show will star Betty ‘Legs’ Diamond and friends and Geoffrey added the show will be a show reel of some of the casts biggest moments from musicals theatre to Hollywood with no shortage of feathers, sequins, headdresses and glamour, the talented drag leads are famous for.
The production, which will begin rehearsals in January has taken three months to come together as Icon show producer Geoffrey and the team combed through all of the season shows since their July 4 1994 opening.
He said: “The theatre settings will be special for the cast as everyone is there for a show, some will have seen them before, others it will be a new experience.
“It’s very much going to be a big night out and there is certainly a big buzz about it. We’re excited, really excited.”
“The difference is there will be two acts, it’s set for theatre, not people at tables or the bar so it adds a new dimension - it’s exciting.”
Geoffrey said the Icon’s cast and DJ Zoe, will continue to entertain covering all showdates at the home venue for visiting fans and their loyal following.
The tour opens at Liverpool Epstein Theatre on March 7.
For all tour dates and theatres visit www.funnygirlsshow.co.uk