The 50th anniversary production of Harold Pinter’s  The Homecoming, directed by Jamie Lloyd opened at the Trafalgar Studios last night. 

John Simm and Gary Kemp in The Homecoming Photography by Marc Brenner.jpg
John Simm and Gary Kemp in The Homecoming. Photograph by Marc Brenner.

Starring Keith Allen, Gary Kemp, Gemma Chan and John Simm, the production follows the story of Teddy who returns from America to introduce his wife Ruth to his family. But on their return, they discover a house that is claustrophobic and his father ,two brothers and his uncle living in a state of mutual discontent and loathing. Ruth is forced to navigate her way through this battle of wills.

Directed by Jamie Lloyd, whose previous productions at the Trafalgar Studios include Richard III (starring Martin Freeman) and The Ruling Class (Starring James McAvoy), this production also features designs by Soutra Gilmour.

Now that the production has officially opened, what have critics made of Lloyd’s take on Pinter’s classic masterpiece?

The Guardian: **** Michael Billington said: “Jamie Lloyd’s excellent revival offers a fresh approach to the play without in any way violating the rhythms of Pinter’s text.”

The Telegraph: *** Dominic Cavendish felt that: ” Lloyd delivers an evening that is intense, committed and often – because of the dialogue – darkly funny.”

The Stage: **** Natasha Tripney summed it up saying: “A bold, unnerving 50th anniversary revival which ably demonstrates that Pinter’s classic still has the power to shock.”

Gemma Chan in The Homecoming. Photography by Marc Brenner.jpg
Gemma Chan as Ruth. Photograph by Marc Brenner. 

Broadwayworld.comTom Cox was also full of praise for the show calling it: “a stylish jewel to his theatrical crown (or snap back) this show oozes cool without losing any of Pinter’s gritty tension.”

The Upcoming: **** Melissa Hoban said: “Gemma Chan gives a controlled and simplified performance as Ruth, balancing the hyper-realism of the other characters.”

London Theatre 1: **** Mary Nguyen felt that: “It won’t blow your mind like it did 50 years ago and it won’t make you think of happier thoughts either, but it will give audiences the product of what a great cast can do with a ‘game-changing’ unsettling script.”

Keith Allen in The Homecoming. Photography by Marc Brenner.jpg
Keith Allen in The Homecoming. Photograph by Marc Brenner. 

The Daily Mail: ***  Quentin Letts said: “Mr Lloyd is not a subtle director. He tells you what to feel. Design trumps dramatic truth.”

London Theatre Guide: **** Dom O’Hanlon said: “There are some solid performances all round, with John Simm’s Lenny holding court most successfully. It is his interchanges, in particular his scene with Ruth that holds most of the weight in the production.”

Whatsonstage: *** Matt Trueman summed the production up by saying: “It’s like watching an annotated text, but in making the mechanics clear, Lloyd gives up the mystery. Sometimes, it’s better not to know.”

The Homecoming is at the Trafalgar Studios until the 13th February. To book tickets visit: Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk , Discount Theatre.com , ATG Tickets , Love Theatre.com  and Ticketmaster.co.uk . 

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