A workshop performance of Roy Smiles comic play The Funny Girls will take place at the London Coliseum on 27 November. Loosely based on Barbra Streisand and Joan Rivers, the play explores the egos and dreams of two of the greatest talents of their generation. It stars Debbie Chazen as Joan Rivers and Victoria Yeates as Barbra Streisand.
British playwright Roy Smiles’ comic two hander follows two New York Jewish actresses as they bicker across years of struggle and fame. From humble beginnings as they star in a lousy off off off Broadway play, Barbra terrified to go on stage, fearful of her mother’s criticism as she sits in the audience and Joan desperate to get her big break. It’s up to Joan to talk Barbra into going on stage: to become the star she will surely be. There is an agent in to see the show. It’s Rivers big chance. She will get Streisand on stage come hell or high water. Fast forward ten years: Streisand is playing Las Vegas. She is a huge star. Rivers is now a hugely successful comedian. The toast of The Tonight Show. She comes to visit Barbra. Both believe they are the most talented Jewish woman on the planet. One of them is wrong....
Olivier Award- nominated actress Debbie Chazen is a familiar face on stage and screen and will perform the role of Joan Rivers. Her theatre credits include Ruth in the stage show Calendar Girls from November 2009 to January 2010 at the Noël Coward and following breast cancer treatment she returned to the role for the national tour and subsequently the musical version The Girls at the Phoenix Theatre in the West End. Other credits include Mother Clap's Molly House at the National Theatre, Dick Whittington and His Cat at the Barbican Theatre, The Cherry Orchard in Sheffield, The Girlfriend Experience at the Royal Court Theatre and The Young Vic. Television credits include Holby City, Doctors, Eastenders, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Mile High, A Christmas Carol, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. She also starred in the Mike Leigh film Topsy Turvey.
Victoria Yeates is perhaps best known for her role as Sister Winifred in BBC’s Call The Midwife. Her theatre credits include The Crucible, Private Lives, The League of Youth (Nottingham Playhouse), Noises Off (New Wolsey, Ipswich), Rookery Nook (Menier Chocolate Factory), Wuthering Heights (Birmingham Rep), Don Juan, Pains of Youth (Belgrade Theatre Coventry), Dying City (BAC), Days of Hope (King’s Head Theatre), Big Live (Gate Theatre) and T5 (Thomas Hopkins Productions). She also starred as Bunty in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald. She will play Barbra Steisand.