Sheffield enjoys a few rays of Little Miss Sunshine at Lyceum

You know that feeling of trepidation when someone takes a TV show or film you really love and adapts it for the stage?

By Julia Armstrong
Thursday, 11 July, 2019, 20:33
Evie Gibson as Olive and Mark Moraghan as Grandpa in Little Miss Sunshine

I never shook it off when I watched the musical Little Miss Sunshine at the Sheffield Lyceum.

If we’re speaking in weather metaphors, the sunshine only breaks through the clouds a few times to bathe the stage in light.

The songs sound like Broadway by the numbers and don’t really add anything useful to the story-telling.

An odd device of a trio of imaginary mean girls poking fun at Olive is similarly superfluous, although performed well.

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The family's breakdown-prone yellow VW camper van is cleverly reproduced on stage, using chairs and a chassis.

Brookside’s Mark Moraghan as the old hippie grandad, extolling the virtues of drugs and sex, is a joy to watch but (plot spoiler ahead!) his character is killed off halfway through.

The girl playing Olive – I think it was Evie Gibson on the night I saw it (three rotate in the role) – had space to show off considerable acting and singing skills.

But mostly it’s left to supporting actors like Imelda Warren-Green and Ian Carlyle to upstage the main cast with comic cameos.

Little Miss Sunshine is at the Lyceum, Sheffield until July 13.