THEATRE REVIEW: Fun Home at the Young Vic starring Eleanor Kane, Jenna Russell & Cherrelle Skeete

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE: Young Vic

WHEN: 23/6, press night 27/6, runs to 1/9/18

RUN TIME: 100 minutes (no interval)

This first mainstream musical about a young lesbian won 5 Tonys and brings the curtain down on David Lan’s 18-year tenure as Artistic Director at this venue.

  • Read on for reasons including why The Inheritance is what we’ll remember Lan for

It’s based on the 2006 graphic novel by Alison Bechdel about her childhood growing up in Pennsylvania in the funeral home run by her father (the ‘fun home’ of the title) and how she discovers that he is having affairs with men.

Set in the 70s, this musical is at its strongest during Jackson 5-inspired number Come To The Fun Home when small Alison (a lively turn by Brooke Haynes) and her fellow children introduce us to their unusual surroundings.

We admired Jenna Russell opposite Kit Harington in Doctor Faustus and her reprise of Welcome To Our House as Alison’s mother when her betrayal becomes clear is quite the showstopper.

Especially convincing are medium Alison (Eleanor Kane, pictured above) with her lover played by Cherrelle Skeete who we last saw quite recently in The Phlebotomist downstairs at the Hampstead Theatre.

Our problem with Fun Home is that despite its groundbreaking credentials it feels as dated as its 70s setting. In the #MeToo era, the scenes with Alison’s father hitting on young black men are also uncomfortable.

Fun Home then is a misfire for us then as we bid goodbye to Lan and we will remember him most fondly for this year’s triumphant The Inheritance which transfers into the West End this autumn.

  • Picture by Marc Brenner via Facebook courtesy Young Vic. Tickets
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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