THEATRE REVIEW: Home, I'm Darling ★★★★★
Home, I’m Darling
Duke of York’s Theatre, London
26th January - 13th April 2019
Living in the present day but contrary to their home life, which is transformed into 50s decor following being made redundant from her job, Katherine Parkinson remarkably excels as Judy, a stay-at-home house wife to her husband Johnny (Richard Harrington). Whilst on the surface they live a bliss and happy home life, underneath the pressures of money and new acquaintances entering Johnny’s life leaves Judy conflicted, in a play which I would happily consider being the best production in London this very moment.
Designer Anna Fleischle soars as she brings onto stage a full two storey house which completely blows you as the audience over to the detail and precision given to every room; from the open space downstairs merging the living room and kitchen, right up to the bathroom and bedroom above the stairs, you can tell that care has been taken in making sure it is in keeping with the era in which Judy and Johnny fascinate over, and is without giving too much away, a very clever set with a multi-purpose use following a particular scene within the second act.
Director Tamara Harvey has took full advantage of the 50s music, with tracks such as The Chordette’s Sandman, to create scene changes that are almost actually scenes within themselves, as we see supporting characters Fran (Siubhan Harrison) and Marcus (Hywel Morgan) sweep across the stage to the music with movements that deserve rounds of applause after every segment. It’s decisions like this which makes the whole production feel slick with an already tight and compelling script, to which every single member of the cast, which finally includes Susan Brown as Judy’s mother Sylvia, and Sara Gregory as Alex, one of Johnny’s friendly female co-workers, completely devour their characters with so much emphasis and passion to their roles that the chemistry between themselves glows on stage amongst them all, and the energy bounces around stage in the most tense of moments.
Overall, Home I’m Darling is a stunning and compelling powerhouse of a play which completely excels through the fantastic cast and scene changes which really compliments Laura Wade’s stylistic and gripping script, with moments of pure genius of a story which never lets the energy die, keeps us hooked until the very last moments and makes us as an audience care for the characters, with twists throughout which you would not be able to see coming.