Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Homecoming

by Handy Mag

“They’re very warm people, really. Very warm. They’re my family. They’re not ogres…”

York Theatre Royal, 16-21 May

A new production of Harold Pinter’s Tony Award-winning drama The Homecoming starring Mathew Horne, Keith Allen and Ian Bartholomew comes to York Theatre Royal from 16-21 May.

Teddy, a professor at an American university, returns to his childhood home accompanied by his wife Ruth to find his father, uncle and brothers still living there. In the subsequent series of encounters, life becomes a barely camouflaged battle for power and sexual supremacy fought out with taut verbal brutality. Who will emerge victorious – the poised and elegant Ruth or her husband’s dysfunctional family?

Widely regarded as his finest work, Harold Pinter’s bleakly funny exploration of family and relationships has become a modern classic since receiving its West End premiere in 1965. The Homecoming won four Tony Awards on Broadway in 1967, including Best Play.

Mathew Horne plays Lenny, Teddy’s enigmatic brother. Mathew’s many screen credits include the roles of Gavin in BBC’s Gavin & Stacey, Roy Silver in Sky One’s Agatha Raisin, Headmaster Fraser in BBC’s Bad Education and Ben Birkett in Channel 4’s Teachers. Mathew can currently be seen in the sitcom series Newark, Newark on Gold and in cinemas in The Nan Movie with Catherine Tate.

Keith Allen plays the role of brutal patriarch, Max. On television, his many credits include the series Marcella; Bodies; My Mad Fat Diary; Roger Roger; The Body Farm; Making Out; Robin Hood (as the Sheriff of Nottingham); and the 2021 mini-series The Pembrokeshire Murders. His film credits include The Others, Gaslight, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Eddie The Eagle, 24 Hour Party People and Shallow Grave.

Keith has starred in two previous productions of The Homecoming, playing Teddy at the National Theatre in 1997 and appearing as Sam at London’s Trafalgar Studios in 2015. His theatre credits also include Pinter 3: Landscape/A Kind of Alaska in the West End; David Hare’s Murmuring Judges at the National Theatre, and The Celebration and The Room directed by Harold Pinter at the Almeida Theatre and in New York.

Four-time Olivier Award nominee Ian Bartholomew plays Sam. In a career spanning 40 years, his many television credits include the role of Geoff Metcalfe in over 200 episodes of Coronation Street, for which he won both Best Actor and Best Villain awards. He has also appeared in the series Perfect Scoundrels and Harry, and played guest roles in numerous primetime dramas including Foyle’s War, Heartbeat, DCI Banks, South Riding, The Accused, New Tricks, Spooks, Midsomer Murders, William and Mary, Wycliffe, Minder, The Darling Buds Of May and Rumpole Of the Bailey. His theatre work includes the West End productions of Into The Woods, Radio Times, Mrs Henderson Presents and Half A Sixpence, receiving Olivier Award nominations for all four shows. He has performed at the National Theatre extensively, most recently in The Power of Yes. His West End credits also include Shakespeare in Love and Tommy.

Teddy is played by Sam Alexander whose recent television credits include the role of Rhys in Emmerdale. His stage performances include The Watsons at Chichester Festival Theatre and The Lady in the Van and Racing Demon in the Theatre Royal Bath’s 2017 Summer Season. Royal Shakespeare Company regular Geoffrey Lumb appears as Joey, recently seen in the West End in Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and The Light.

Shanaya Rafaat plays the role of Ruth. Her previous stage credits include Around the World in 80 Days at the St James Theatre, Great Expectations at West Yorkshire Playhouse and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the RSC’s Complete Works Festival. Her television credits include Silk, Lewis, EastEnders and Doctors.

Harold Pinter (1930 – 2008) wrote 29 plays including The Homecoming, The Birthday Party, The Caretaker and Betrayal, and 21 screenplays including The Servant, The Go-Between, The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Sleuth. He also directed 27 theatre productions, including James Joyce’s Exiles; David Mamet’s Oleanna; seven plays by Simon Gray; and many of his own plays including his last, Celebration, paired with his first, The Room, at the Almeida Theatre, London in 2000 with a cast including Keith Allen, Lindsay Duncan, Lia Williams, Indira Varma and Danny Dyer. In 2005 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Other awards he received include the Companion of Honour for services to literature, the Légion d’honneur, the Olivier Award and the Molière d’honneur for lifetime achievement. In 1999 he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature. He received honorary degrees from eighteen universities.

As a director, Jamie Glover’s credits include Measure for Measure on national tour; The Dumb Waiter and Five Finger Exercise at London’s Coronet Theatre; Miss Julie and Black Comedy at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester; Educating Rita and Single Spies at Newbury’s Watermill Theatre, and A Voyage Round My Father at Salisbury Playhouse. As an actor, Jamie has starred in the West End productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Noises Off, and at theatres nationwide, including London’s Donmar, Chichester Festival Theatre, Birmingham Rep, the RSC and Manchester Royal Exchange. He has also performed extensively on-screen and radio, including BBC’s Waterloo Road and Sky’s Agatha Raisin alongside Mathew Horne.

Design is by Liz Ascroft with lighting design by Johanna Town and sound design by Max Pappenheim. Associate Director: Amy Reade, Casting Director: Ginny Schiller CDG, Fight Director: Kate Waters, Intimacy Coordinator: Vanessa Coffey.

Theatre Royal Bath Productions presents

The Homecoming by Harold Pinter

Directed by Jamie Glover

At York Theatre Royal, May 16-21

Evenings 7.30 pm

Matinees Thurs 2 pm & Sat 2.30 pm

Box office 01904 623568 | yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

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