The Funfair: HOME

Love, betrayal, best friends, lawyers, department store owners, freaks, geeks and a ring master. What's not to like about that.

By Lee Isherwood | May 29th '15

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of checking out HOME’s first Theatre Production The FunFair on opening night. Patron Danny Boyle led a Funfair Fanfare culminating in a climactic volley of percussive ‘mascletà’ pyrotechnics that rung the building, heralding HOME’s arrival across the city centre.

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After seeing the dress rehearsal photography I was completely sold on The Funfair. I’ve added a few of them below so you can see why. I’m a visual person by nature and to my mind any loss of detail can be forgiven if the overall vision is there. As for Funfair, they just so happened to have the detail as well.

This new version of 20th century masterpiece Kasimir and Karoline is an extraordinarily savage and extraordinarily human exploration of the lives of the working-class people of Manchester at the height of the recession, adapted by Olivier-Award winning writer Simon Stephens.

The stage looked and worked brilliantly, a rotating centre piece where even without the use of a carnival horse it felt like a constant merry-go-round. The almost post apocolyptic nature of the dimly lit hollow raised above the stage in which the band played (live) reminds me now somewhat of the “flaming guitarist” in MadMax FuryRoad if he had a full ensemble.

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Love, betrayal, best friends, lawyers, department store owners, freaks, geeks and a ring master. What’s not to like about that. I really enjoyed The Funfair, for me stand out performances came from Victoria Gee (as the unassuming Esther) and Ian Bartholomew (as the very assuming Billy Smoke).

There’s a whole host of reasons to visit HOME over the coming weeks and The Funfair is certainly one of them. The show runs until JUN 13 so check it out.