(Clare Burt as Yvonne)
Studio, Crucible Theatre | 11th July, 2013, 7:45pm
“Close relatives, dream holiday, total nightmare.” A new British musical that reaches into the heart of every person it touches.
Written by Tim Firth, This Is My Family is a hilarious new musical that follows 13-year-old Evelyn Hoskins as Nicky who wins a family holiday. Desperate to bring her breaking family together, she chooses a camping trip back to the place her parents first met. Hoskins is a ball of energy as the young schoolgirl and is easily the joining piece that brings the show to life. Her vocal ability and adorable character remains strongest throughout. Although the storyline is thin at times, the evolving reflection on family life that many of us can relate to helps cover up varying lack of content.
Clare Burt and Bill Champion lead the production as ageing parents Yvonne and Steve; the duo perfectly cast both physically and vocally. I couldn’t help but fall-in-love with Burt, showing the vulnerable and difficult role a mother must take for the good of her family. Terence Keeley adds to the talented cast as moody teen Matt. Regularly found clinging to pieces of scenery, often quite literally, the young actor is definitely one to watch in the future. He also leads the cast in vocal ability.
The small but modern side-cutting of your average house makes a fitting set. With the addition of Daniel Evans’ superb direction, leading another visually stunning production at Sheffield Theatres, the show is in safe hands artistically.
Rachel Lumberg is a lovely addition as the slightly raunchy Sian, comedy song and all. She is joined by theatrical royalty in Sian Phillips as grandmother, May. If ever a masterclass in performance, Sian gives you all you’d ever need.
Admittedly, the show will never win any awards for its big production numbers or memorable music, however its small orchestra and score does carry you through each scene solidly. This Is My Family would make the perfect evening out for a date you could take your partner, mother or even grandmother to. Its ability to relate to anyone and their family makes its target audience vast.
Predicting the future for a small studio piece like this is difficult. Although it has the potential for a limited season in London, changes musically would need to be made.
This Is My Family runs at the Studio, Crucible Theatre, until the 20th July.
Tickets available direct at: www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk