Fun Home review
Young Vic

Words by: Abiola Lawal | Published: [insert date & time]

Fun Home is a charming piece of musical theatre based on the true story of author and illustrator, Alison Bechdel’s family.


Fun Home is a courageously raw piece of work based on one woman’s tragic childhood and her relationship with her father


Fun Home is the family’s description of their family business, the funeral home, an amusing twist with words by Bechdel and so apt as her family story was at times so funny and at many others so very tragic. Her father’s personal battles with his own identity shape and colour so much of what Alison believes to be true about herself, her parent’s relationship, and sexuality. Following Alison through her childhood and her teen years in this fantastic musical was endearing, tear jerking and an emotional rollercoaster. There are some elements of this story which may leave you uncomfortable, watching Bruce (Zubin Varla), Alison’s father, flirting with a teenage boy. Or when he leaves his children alone to go and pursue his own pleasures. There is also angst and true empathy for Helen (Jenna Russell), Alison’s mother; her solo piece about ‘Days and Days’ left me so shaken and heartbroken for her I almost cried at the life she had lived, or not lived rather. Fortunately, the Small Alison (Brooke Hayes) and her brothers bring an element of light-heartedness and playfulness that every musical needs to make the audience laugh, and also created an essence of normal family life in this tragicomedy.


This play is brilliant, tragic and one of the best musicals I have ever seen live or on TV

The sweetness of Medium Alison (Eleanor Kane) in finding her true self and embracing her own sexuality through her budding relationship with Joan (Cherrelle Skeete) is quite literally the loveliest thing I’ve ever seen, and I ache for us all to be filled with such innocence and joy at finding unexpected love.


Fun Home is at times fun, full of joy and laughter and at other times so sad, emotional, and full of regret. Originally written as a comic book, then later developed into a musical by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, and directed by Sam Gold, Fun Home is a courageously raw piece of work based on one woman’s tragic childhood and her relationship with her father and has already won Five Tony Awards.


This play is brilliant, tragic and one of the best musicals I have ever seen live or on TV. On that note I hope it gets made into a movie because it is a story that would resonate with a lot of people in a world where we are slowly learning to live our truth and forget about keeping up appearances. Nothing is as it appears to be anyway so be yourself, no matter how hard or uncomfortable that makes anyone. The cost of not being who you really are can be far bigger than you could ever imagine.



Info: Fun Home is at the Young Vic until 1 Sept 201 8 | book tickets | Read our interview with Cherrelle Skeete




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