Home, I'm Darling (National Theatre) - Review

Home, I'm Darling (National Theatre) - Review
Home I’m Darling, a new play by Laura Wade, is being performed at the Dorfman Theatre until 5th September. The concept of this play is brilliant. But dear reader, I do not wish to spoil the joy in watching this story unravel in front of your eyes, I have therefore decided against saying much about the plot. This phenomenal play deals with various contemporary themes in a humorous and playful manner. Looking at the fantastical life of Judy whose lifestyle choices belong more to the fifties than to today’s ideal, this is a show I will remember for a long time. Running at just two and a half hours with an interval in between, Home I’m Darling was a joy to watch from beginning to end. There wasn’t a second in this play that I wasn’t taken by the performance.

“This has to be the first piece of theatre in a long time that has left me wanting more”

This is the first piece of theatre in a long time that has left me wanting more. This can only be attributed to Katherine Parkinson’s stunning performance as Judy. Parkinson is on stage the entire time except for the moments when she is changing into another one of her wondrous dresses, each more beautiful than the previous. There is nothing in this performance (and dare I say, whole production) that I could fault. In fact, the whole cast were phenomenal. Richard Harrington’s performance as Johnny (Judy’s Husband) matched the vigour and reality of Parkinson’s performance. The chemistry in the relationship between Harrington and Parkinson was mesmerising. The journey and transformation that these two characters go through couldn’t help but bring the audience along with them. I found myself immediately empathising with their relationship and the love between them. Sian Thomas as Sylvia (Judy’s Mother) was just perfect. Thomas did not make many appearances in this piece but the times when she does enter the stage leave an impression. Sara Gregory as Alex (Johnny’s Boss) should also be commended for her performance. With a great presence and calming energy Alex captivates you with her beauty. Barnaby Kay and Kathryn Drysdale as Marcus and Fran respectively were a joy to watch dancing in the interchanges of scenes. The choreography by Charlotte Broom added yet another layer of enjoyment to this piece.

“An example of excellent professional collaboration”

I was fully and truly immersed from start to finish, always truly captivated by the actions on stage and the world created before me. The vision and direction of director Tamara Harvey is strong. All theatrical elements of costume, set and lighting compliment this piece of art. The set design by Anna Fleischle is clever, highly detailed and a work of art in its own right. The colourfulness of the design really enhances the performance and adds to the characters. The costume too can only be admired; particularly by those who have an appreciation for fifties fashion who will be amazed at the array of outfits Parkinson manages to slip on throughout this piece. This female powerhouse must really be commended for their craft and skill. Each member of the creative team has brought a unique talent and skill without which this production would not have been as impactful and successful; it is an example of excellent professional collaboration. Funny, poignant and impactful, all I can say to all that were involved in the making of Home, I’m Darling is thank you for putting on such an inspiring production.

5/5

Image: Manuel Harlan
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