(4 / 5)
I’m going to begin this review, simply with, what a lovely play.
I wouldn’t say it is extraordinary, ground breaking or shocking. But it is clever, interesting, and a new view on feminism and the Me Too movement.
Judy (Katherine Parkinson, of The IT Crowd) and her husband Johnny (Richard Harrington, Hinterland, Poldark) love the 50’s. So much so, that one day they decide that with what they have in earnings, they could live the life of a real 50’s couple. The wife as a stay at home housewife, and the husband bringing home the bacon. Their home is styled of the era; their clothing is of the time period; technology is barely visible in their lives. All in all, they have a perfect yet romanticised life.
As time continues, their lives break down, and there are cracks in this perfect life. Questions on morality and feminism becomes heightened, with Judy announcing she is a feminist as she chose this lifestyle. The lifestyle of keeping a home and her husband.
From a unusual childhood, with divorced parents, this seems like Judy’s way to make her life and her marriage perfect. But is a relationship all about the aesthetics?
The set is beautiful – a cut away house, we fully delve into the ins and outs of their lives, the bad and the good and still feeling as if we are intruding in their facade of a life. We are fooled, with how good the beginning premise is, that when she cracks out a laptop, there is a roar of laughter – is this some multi-dimensional world? No – it’s something even stranger; a couple living in the past.
Katherine Parkinson, is one of my favourite actresses. She adapts to any character, from The IT Crowd, to The Boat that Rocked and so on – this is no different. Every element of her acting is perfection – from her pristine housewife life, where even her walk is meticulous and precise, to a flash back to her as a finance manager, who is more laid back and carefree.
Richard Harrington, to our Welsh readers, is more well known for his starring role in Hinterland. Another well established actor, he takes on this doting and fun loving husband character, with gusto. When they become extremely emotional, it is natural and a triumph to acting relationships.
Home, I’m Darling, which had it’s debut at Theatr Clwyd, features two promising and excellent Welsh performers, (supported with the character, Alex, played by Sara Gregory). It is not only a wonderful play, showcasing welsh and english talent, but also surprisingly poignant for current climate in relation to feminism.
Home, I’m Darling continues its runs at The National Theatre until the 5th of September.