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Criterion Theatre
The Homecoming (2024)
Written by Harold Pinter
Sat 22nd June to Sat 29th June
Director – John Ruscoe
Production Photos
Max – Hugh Sorrill
Lenny – Ted Mcgowan
Joey – Connor Bailey
Ruth – Leonie Slater
Assistant Director – Helen Withers
Set Designer – Christopher Hernon
Stage Manager – Steve Withers
Prompt – Claire McDermott
Props – Les Rahilly
Wardrobe – Pam Coleman
Lighting Designer – Paul Harrison
Sound Designer – David Chapman
Lighting Operator – Karl Stafford
Lighting Operator – Verity Gillam-Greene

Teddy has had no contact with his family for several years and returns to his childhood home, bringing with him his wife, Ruth. How will they react to him after all this time and what impact will he have on the struggle for supremacy in this toxic, all-male stronghold? And Ruth? How will she deal with the sexist attitudes and expectations of her in-laws when she is longing for the freedom of her past?

The play revisits some of Pinter’s well-known themes of intrusion, power, memory and non-conformity. The dialogue is superbly crafted and, as in life, what we hear merely suggests underlying thoughts or feelings. The role of the onlooker is to piece together the clues and to consider what might be the truth. The action is at times aggressive, yet darkly comic and the play’s ending will certainly provoke debate.

The Homecoming was premiered in London in 1965. On its transfer to Broadway, it won 4 Tony awards including that for Best Play, establishing a worldwide reputation for Pinter as one of the foremost playwrights of the 20th Century. In 2005, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, 3 years before his death. This play has been frequently revived in this country and across the world. Its relevance remains universal.

The Criterion production of The Homecoming will be of particular interest to Theatre Studies and English Literature students, but not be suitable for young children.

Reviews of the Play

"What to make of it in our post #MeToo age?...captures how fear, awe and neediness lie at the heart of misogyny." Arifa Akbar, The Guardian.

"There is a direct line to draw from the world of this play to the online toxic masculinity of today... This is a story about the impossibility of escaping your past, or your nature" Nick Curtis The Evening Standard.

EDI Assessment

In line with our EDI policy, we undertake an EDI impact assessment of all our artistic programming. This play deals with themes of misogyny, toxic masculinity and patriarchal control at the heart of a family. Set as a period piece in 1960s London, the play uses anachronistic language and portrays attitudes that were prevalent at the time. It can be cast completely neutrally on race/ethnicity. For the story narrative, playing genders are specified.

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