This is My Family, Crucible Studio
This new musical comedy by Tim Firth, the man behind Calendar Girls, is getting its world premiere at the Studio.
It is a jolly story of 13-year-old Nicky’s attempt to bring her falling-apart family closer together. She wins a holiday and takes everyone camping to the place where her parents first met.
Of course, it’s a disaster but after a lot of fun and games involving losing people and tents on a dark, stormy night, a happy ending ensues.
There’s a touching secondary story involving Nicky’s grandma, May, who is battling with the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
This further strains her already stressed relationship with her daughter-in-law Yvonne when she has to come and live with the family.
Sian Phillips plays May beautifully, showing confusion overcoming a strong woman, and the script goes for sympathy and honesty rather than slushy sentiment.
Evelyn Hoskins does a convincing job of playing a teenager and holds the action together very well.
The cast of six all do a sterling job and the music is an intrinsic part of the action, allowing several characters to show how they’re feeling at once.
It is a tough job for the actors but they tackle it very well, backed by an excellent live band.
Director Daniel Evans took a bold step of putting this on in the Studio, overcoming the space limitations with Richard Kent’s clever open-sided house set.
However, ultimately I felt the show didn’t really draw me in.
The storyline is sweet but felt very predictable and the way the music is used means that there aren’t any real standout songs