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 16th -21st May. Presented by Theatre Royal Bath Productions and directed by Jamie Glover, this bleakly funny exploration of family and relationships is set to be brought to life on stage for a modern audience.
The play first hit the West End stage in 1965, winning four Tony Awards on Broadway in 1967 too. So it’s fair to say The Homecoming is a bit of a classic. It’s great when shows like this get a revamped tour so new audiences get to appreciate some of the best plays ever written!
The Homecoming follows Teddy, an American professor, as he 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?
Mathew Horne plays Lenny, Teddy’s enigmatic brother. You’ll probably know Mathew from his fab TV roles which include Gavin in BBC’s Gavin & Stacey, Headmaster Fraser in BBC’s Bad Education and his role in the Catherine Tate Show. He’s been trying his hand on stage for a little while now too. I last saw him in Rain Man so it’ll be interesting to see him play a perhaps less complex role.
Keith Allen plays the role of brutal patriarch, Max. He’s been involved in series such as Marcella and the 2021 mini-series The Pembrokeshire Murders. 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. So doesn’t it make sense to see him take on yet another fantastic role in the show? He’s also the real life father of Lily Allen, which is pretty cool.
Four-time Olivier Award nominee Ian Bartholomew plays Sam. You’ll probably know him as Geoff Metcalfe in Coronation Street, for which he won both Best Actor and Best Villain awards. 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.
Teddy is played by Sam Alexander whose recent television credits include the role of Rhys in Emmerdale, while 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.
It’s somewhat rare these days to see truly classic plays get another outing, so it’s fab to see Pinter coming to the York Theatre Royal stage this May!
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 many of his own. To say he’s an award-winning playwright just wouldn’t do him justice. 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, while also receiving honorary degrees from eighteen universities throughout his lifetime.
Will you be seeing The Homecoming at York Theatre Royal from 16th – 21st May?
Photograph credited to Manuel Harlan