Actress Rachel Lumberg is sure that anyone who comes to see This Is My Family will smile at its familiarity to us all.
The new musical, written by the man behind Calendar Girls, traces the story of a 13-year-old who, determined to bring her family closer to each other, wins a holiday and makes everyone go. Things go wrong in a comical way before eventually her plan works quite unexpectedly.
Rachel said: “If no-one can associate with anybody in that cast, I’ll be amazed. We’ve all sat with our dad in a car going the wrong way up a one-way street with cars at the side of you. It’s also beautifully cast. We’ve been working on it a fair while. It’s brilliant.”
The show, which is premiering at the Crucible Studio, brings Rachel back after her appearance in the new musical version of The Full Monty at the Lyceum.
She said: “As this opens I’ve done all three Sheffield Theatres spaces in 18 months. I did The Way of the World at the Crucible before Full Monty. I’m so excited about it.”
Rachel said she is very pleased to be joining The Full Monty on tour.
In This is My Family, she is playing Sian, the sister of Yvonne, the mother of teenager Nicky’s family.
She said: “I’m the younger sister of Yvonne. Where they have this terrific family unit, Sian is completely the opposite. She has married and is now divorced and with another chap she has met she might now well marry.
“She is immensely gregarious and full of life. She’s always had a man in her life and is never with anyone for very long.
“If they’re into psychology, she’ll be doing psychology. If they’re into biking, she’s on a motorbike.
“She would love to be settled with children. That need is being fed through Yvonne’s children.”
Sian is constantly giving Yvonne the benefit of her opinion.
She said: “I completely recognise that in my own family life. My sister wouldn’t think twice about ringing me, asking what do you think about this. Sometimes she will ask, when did I start taking advice from my baby sister!”
Rachel also has another job apart from acting, working at the Royal Opera House in London as a dresser.
She said: “It’s one of the most enjoyable jobs I’ve ever had. I could never always afford to see opera. I met some opera students when I was studying at the Guildhall in London.
“They were in music section and I was in the drama department and we were all in the same halls of residence, so we got to know one another.
“I became quite interested through them an thought what a lovely job this is. I said, ‘ let me know if you need somebody. As an actor I know how it works. Give me a call’ and they did.
That was eight years ago. I dress for the opera and ballet.”
This is My Family gives her a chance to show off her own singing voice.
She said: “This is my first musical comedy role. I’ve sung in shows before but not to this extent. The comedy is beautifully delivered in the music.”
This is My Family is at the Crucible Studio until Saturday (July 20). Box office: 0114 249 6000 or go to www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk