Fun Home play can be described as entertaining as well as informative in its content as well as production. The play focuses on the themes of sexual tolerance through its depiction of the lesbians as well as the gays and their capacity to find joy in spite of their sexual orientation. The main character in the play, Alison Bechdel perfectly exemplifies the intended theme through her own position as a lesbian in the play. Similarly, the other lead character, Bruce Bechdel also acts as a gay individual who is closeted despite his age. Potentially due to the struggles in his mind, Bruce acts in an extensively controlling way towards his daughter. Moreover, most of the times he is hot tempered and constantly has mood swings. Bruce later commits suicide for unknown reasons and it is only after his death that the family becomes aware of his sexuality. The contrast in the reactions of the two lead characters to their sexual orientation is used to portray the outcomes of acceptance versus denial of one’s orientation. The guilt that comes with lack of disclosure characterizes Bruce’s and could have increased with the realization that his daughter was a lesbian. Alison even wonders whether acceptance of her sexual orientation and revelation of the same had a role in her father’s decision to commit suicide. The message of the play perfectly fits the contemporary audience. In the present times, many people are realizing that they are gay yet the fear of discrimination makes them conceal their actual orientation for longer durations. The contemporary times are characterized by an increase in the number of national constitutions that are legalizing same sex- marriages such as those between gays and lesbians. Transgender people are also increasingly recognized in the present-day times. As such, the play comes at a time when the society can accept it easily as something that clearly depicts societal occurrences at their time. It recognizes the fact that there is gayism and lesbianism, and what remains is now how to deal with such experiences.
The production of the play as watched was exemplary as well as very entertaining. Unlike most of the plays that I have watched in theatre before, Fun Home presented an opportunity to directly interact with most of the case members. For instance, I managed to watch the play in November 2016 when it ran as part of the U.S national tour and the experience was worth reliving. The use of various technical elements corresponded to the theme of the play and purposed to effectively put across the intended message. The combination of sounds, scenery and lighting gave the play an exquisite feel of naturalness to it. Variation of lighting was used to distinguish moods in the play clearly, giving brightness to positivity and self-discovery and relative darkness to the low spirits and depression in the play (Eberle 224). Similarly, the costumes and the make-up used clearly depicted the theme of the play. For instance, Alison’s dressing contrasts what is portrayed as the conventional female dressing in the costume of Joan, Alison’s mother and other females in the play. Similarly, the gay is also costumed to portray a certain disposition to their feminine characteristics. Based these technical elements it can be said that the play was well done in production too.
Fun Home presents a typically successful play production. Not only does it satisfy the expectations of the viewers in terms of social and personal significance, but also does so through artistic combination of several art elements. Although not entertaining per se, the play does not display any ambiguity and complexity as is common among most of the plays presented in such forums. On the other hand, the story line developed is moving due to the use on an anticipatory tone in the narration and use of music as reported by Huron (13). It can thus be deduced that the play was indeed effective and worth my time.
Eberle, Scott. The elements of play: towards a philosophy and a definition of play. Journal of Play, vol. 6, no. 6, (2014): 214- 233.
Huron, David.Sweet anticipation: music and the psychology of expectation. The MIT Press, 2006.