Life is Fun for Brittanie

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Mulgoa’s Brittanie Shipway has just completed one of her biggest roles in musical theatre, playing the lead role of comedienne Fanny Brice in Theatre & Company’s production of Funny Girl at the Parramatta Riverside Theatre recently.

The talented local actress and singer enjoyed her lead role in the successful production. “Funny Girl is probably the largest role I have tackled to date, yet strangely enough, I felt right at home with the character. Fanny Brice was an incredible comedienne ahead of her time, and she used a lot of self-deprecating humour that ended up winning her a successful career in the industry. She was a wonderful woman to research and embody. The accent was also a heck of a lot of fun” Brittanie told the Mulgoa Valley Gazette.

Despite Funny Girl being one of Brittanie’s favourite films growing up, she put herself on a strict Barbra ban for the duration of the show. This ensured that she give the famous role her own interpretation. “Barbra was brilliant and wonderful in the role, but I’m not her and I won’t pretend to be. Babs also took on this role in the 1960’s. Why I would try and re-create a dated version of the show to a modern audience is beyond me” she humoured.

Having appeared in several musicals, Brittanie now finds singing and acting go hand in hand. You can’t quite do one without the other. “Singing and dancing on the other hand, let me tell you it ain’t that easy!” explained Brittanie.

For now, Shipway will have to wait for a well-earned break till after her busy work schedule going into the new year. “This industry has a lot of dips and waves, and fortunately I’m riding a wave this end of the year. I’m currently rehearsing Jesus Christ Superstar (Riverside Theatre) in the role of Mary which will be playing in February. I’ve also just begun rehearsals for the Summer season of Sport for Jove’s outdoor Shakespeare festival (Bella Vista in December and Leura in January), which I am so terrified and excited by. There’s 18 actors playing 140 parts in a 4-show marathon! Wish me luck” she beamed.

^ Brittanie during rehearsals for Funny Girl | Image: Sarah Dolan (Theatre & Company)

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