This is My Family (Lyceum Theatre)
Following a sell-out run in the Studio last year, Tim Firth's musical comedy, This Is My Family, re-opens the newly refurbished Lyceum, prior to a national tour.
Following last year's successful run at Sheffield Theatres' Studio, This is My Family returns to the bigger, newly refurbished, Lyceum stage, before embarking on a national tour. This is a brave and risky move, as the show's intimate, quirky nature makes it naturally more suited to the smaller venue.
That said, it does not appear lost on the big stage: the cast are certainly more than capable of filling it with their presence, and designer Richard Kent has done a good job of scaling up his eye-catching design.
The cast make a strong ensemble, but the show's irresistible charm is largely due to the phenomenal central performance of Evelyn Hoskins as thirteen-year-old Nicky. Never straying anywhere near the twee or the cloying, Hoskins perfectly captures the physicality, speech patterns and attitudes of our likeable child narrator, drawing us into her world and her family. Equally convincing is Terence Keeley as her seventeen-year-old brother Matt, whose portrayal of teenage boyhood has the audience is stitches.
At times, the script relies a little too heavily on stereotype, and the emotional journeys the characters make are hardly unexpected, but the minutiae of family life is nicely observed, and cleverly recreated in Tim Firth's expertly layered score and lyrics.
There are a couple of haunting melodies and catchy numbers you will go home humming, but there is just as much joy in sections of overlapping recitative about the post and the washing. All in all, a very enjoyable production.
This is My Family continues at Lyceum, Sheffield until 18 October 2014.