Barbra Streisand and Joan Rivers reunite in The Funny Girls

Last Updated on 7 July 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team

Roy Smiles imagines a reunion between Barbra Streisand and the late Joan Rivers in new comedy The Funny Girls at New Wimbledon Theatre. Tickets are on sale now

Barbra Streisand Joan Rivers
Rosanna Harris and Mia Tomlinson in The Funny Girls. Photo: Michael Wharley

The Funny Girls, a new comedy billed as a reunion between Barbra Streisand and Joan Rivers, is to run in London in September.

This fictional “what if” reunion, written by Roy Smiles, stars Mia Tomlinson as Rivers and Rosanna Harris as Streisand. Directed by Michael Strassen, it runs at New Wimbledon Theatre in south London from 17 to 24 September.

The Funny Girls explores the fantastical clash of ego and dreams between two young starlets., following the trials and errors of paving a way to success in bygone America and knowing when to seize your moment. From a dingy box theatre and questionable script to the bright lights of Vegas and TV stardom, both women vanquish their previous shortcomings to come out on top. But both cannot be the most talented Jewish woman on the planet.

A hilariously fast-paced game of wit and wisecracks from two Jewish juggernauts in their prime, Rivers and Streisand spar for superiority. From overbearing mothers and closeted homosexual lovers, to troublesome beauty standards and the level of fame, no cards are left unturned. But was it all worth it?

The show was spawned from the pair’s infamous gig in the late 1950s before their time in the spotlight, finding companionship in a short-lived Off-Broadway production, Driftwood. It also inspired an episode of Sky Arts comedy series Urban Myths in 2020, “When Joan Kissed Barbra”.

Smiles’ previous plays include Pythonesque, about Graham Chapman’s battle with alcohol, and the hit 2009 play Kurt and Sid about a fictional meeting between Sid Vicious and Kurt Cobain.

The show is produced by Thomas Hopkins in association with actor Debbie Chazen, who appeared in “When Joan Kissed Barbra”, and Guy Chapman.

Hopkins said: “Having produced Kurt and Sid with Danny Dyer and Shaun Evans in 2009 at Trafalgar Studios, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to share Roy Smiles’ new comedy in collaboration with the Ambassador Theatre Group and New Wimbledon Theatre for their special season for new writing. The team and I couldn’t be more excited to showcase the phenomenal talents of Mia Tomlinson and Rosanna Harris in this hilarious new production.”

The Funny Girls also features set and costume design by Jean Gray, lighting design by Andrew Exeter and sound design by Dan Sampson.

The Funny Girls is created in collaboration with Ambassador Theatre Group’s Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre as part of its new Premieres Season, celebrating new writing.

The production will also tour later in the year, with further details to be announced.


About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.