The Lyons**** (Menier Chocolate Factory, 24 October 2013)

Posted: October 24, 2013 in Theatre

A big hit already in New York, Nicky Silver’s acerbic take on dysfunctional family life gets its UK premier here. In Act I, the family gathers around the hospital bed of the dying father (Nicholas Day); the mother (Isla Blair) is a domineering and insensitive matriarch; daughter Lisa (Charlotte Randle) is an alcoholic divorcee with two children; son Curtis (Tom Ellis) is gay and quite seriously disturbed. We watch in discomfort as the four ride roughshod over the sensitivities of each of the others and it is an often hilarious spectacle.  Act II is darker, less funny but more poignant. Events take a darker turn as each member, in different ways, strikes for independence from a family unit that they realise is corroded and corrosive. The production is briskly paced and superbly acted by a British cast, all adopting very convincing New York accents. This is one of the best non-musical productions yet staged at the Menier.

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