Dream role for Rawmarsh "funny girl" Emily Huddleston

Dream role for Rawmarsh "funny girl" Emily Huddleston

By Adele Forrest | 17/02/2020

Dream role for Rawmarsh 'funny girl' Emily Huddleston

ICONIC musical Funny Girl is coming to the Sheffield Lyceum for the first time ever — and the lead role made famous by Barbara Streisand will be played by a Rawmarsh actor.

Emily Huddleston (25, pictured), who was part of local theatre group RTSA as a teenager, will take on the role of real-life Broadway star, film actress and comedienne Fanny Brice.

The musical focuses on the celebration of the underdog made good. Set in and around New York City before and after the First World War, it tells the tale of actress Fanny and her stormy relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nick Arnstein.

As well as being made famous by Streisand, the lead role of Funny Girl has since been portrayed by Sheridan Smith on the West End. 

Emily, of Rawmarsh, said she hoped to bring a little bit of “Babs and Sheridan” to her portrayal in the Croft House Theatre Company production.
“It’s an amazing role for a female,” said Emily.

The show will also see Emily fulfilling another dream of performing on the Lyceum stage.

“I’ve always wanted to perform there — it’s so beautiful,” she added.

“I’ve seen so many shows there growing up.

“To be able to think I will be on that stage soon is quite scary.”

Emily, who works at H&M in Parkgate, was part of RTSA from the age of 11 to 19, before going off to study at the Guildford School of Acting.

After graduating, she spent a couple of years working as a professional actor in London, where her work took her on a tour of Germany with a theatre company. 

But she moved back to Rotherham after gaining a new perspective on the showbiz industry.

“I decided I was much happier at home,” she said. “I wanted to start enjoying acting again and not just do it to pay my rent.

“It’s a really tough industry and I wanted to start loving it again like I did when I was younger.”

Emily said it felt “amazing” to join amateur dramatic group Croft and be back with people who were “doing it because they love it”.

The musical will also feature a 24-piece orchestra.

She added she hoped some of her RTSA friends would come along and support her and she was still in touch with director Dee Bennie-Marshall.

“I am doing Shrek in Wakefield as well this year with Dee,” said Emily.

Fiona Hannon, chair of Croft House Theatre, said: “We know Funny Girl will blow the audience away and that Emily will fill the role of Fanny Brice perfectly.

“We are also lucky enough to have a 24-piece orchestra this year, too, which will really help to give the performance that Hollywood feel.”

Funny Girl will be at Sheffield Lyceum from March 31 to April 4.

Tickets are available from the Sheffield Theatres’ box office, in person, by phone on 0114 249 6000 or online at