Funny Girls exploded onto the Blackpool entertainment scene back in July 1994. Little did anyone realise what a phenominal success this venture would become.
It seems hard to believe now, but 20 years ago Funny Girls was just an idea, and an idea at the time that several people thought was too crazy to contemplate. A drag revue bar with glass windows, ensconced in an old furriers – what would the town think ? It was not long before the answer to that question was a resounding – ‘we love it’. So much so that the empty premises next door were bought and the tiny corner venue doubled in size. However, it was not too long before it became obvious this latest addition was not large enough, and ambitous plans were developed to purchase the next two empty premises, and completely rebuild Funny Girls.
Closing it's door for the most creative re-development in town, this period in Funny Girls history was poised to become the subject of a new six part documentary for ITV.
There are too many amazing highlights in the Funny Girls history, - winning our first tourism award for venue of the year, Funny Girls appearing at London Fashion week; arriving in London giddy with excitement at our first appearance on the Royal Variety; performing at the Royal Albert Hall, making the ITV 6 part documentary Funny Girls – Serious Business, our second appearance on the Royal Variety from Cardiff, Joan Collins, opening our current home in the former Odeon after 6 months hard work and restoration, - any many more too numerous to mention.
With a surprise offer to purchase the Funny Girls premises, new plans were made to purchase the former Odeon cinema, a Grade II listed building, and completely renovate and restore this faded beauty, and return her to her orginal stature, and save the building for Blackpool. It was a mammoth task, but eight months later, Funny Girls at Queen Street made its final performance, and as the doors closed a frantic removal of the final pieces began and a short journey to her new home. In resplendant refurbished, redesigned, and glorious stature, the Queen of Hollywood Joan Collins offically performed the opening ceremony , declaring on stage, 'This place could show London a thing or too' - praise indeed from the glamorous well travelled diva.
As well as the stars of Funny Girls, there is an army of behind the scenes workers, who toil away as the faceless Funny Girls; these unsung heroes include costume designers, electricians, wig dressers, set designers and makers, artists, wardrobe mistress, costumiers, painters, lighting design, maintenance, and of course the management and bar staff. Without each and every one of these people, the seamless show you see would not be possible. Months of hard work and dedication to produce a show of the high standards people have rightly come to expect of Funny Girls.
We are proud of our heritage, and the support of Blackpool and its residents and visitors alike, but there is no future in standing still, and we have to continually strive to do better, bring our loyal customers more jaw-dropping productions, lavish spectaculars, and side splitting humour, through our commitment to provide the finest entertainment.