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The Homecoming - Curve Review

Harold Pinter's The Homecoming is far from a comfortable enjoyable watch and this new production directed by Jamie Glover delivers with its fantastic cast but it's the cracks come from the text.

Sam Alexander (Teddy), Keith Allen (Max) and Mathew Horne (Lenny). Photo by Manuel Harlan

We're greeted in this exquisite living room designed by Liz Ascroft by a volatile grump and head of the house Max (Keith Allen) in his armchair. In this house of toxic masculinity, Max shares with his brother Sam (Ian Bartholomew), and his two sons Lenny (Mathew Horne) and upcoming boxing hopeful Joey (Geoffrey Lumb).

In the middle of the night enters two arrivals that completely change the dynamic within the house. Max's eldest son Teddy (Sam Alexander) returns after 6 years away with his wife Ruth (Shanya Rafaat). Initially, Ruth is belittled with claims of being a whore.

Ruth holds the cards as the female in this male powerhouse. Rafaat oozes confidence and power in the space. Though it's a strange powerplay as she interacts with each of the men. It's difficult to see why Ruth goes from doting wife to being objectified by these men and being offered to live within the household as a mother figure whilst also earning her keep as a whore.

Allen impresses as he looms with his walking stick. He captures the power patriarch with great skill and holds so much power in the household. Allen is matched by a fantastic performance by Horne. Bartholomew's Sam is the most likeable of the characters, you almost want to simply remove him and spare him from the toxic environment around him. Likewise with Alexander's Teddy. He is the most heartfelt performance as he's lost in this family environment. 

It's undeniable that the performances by such a talented company don't disappoint. Each character is brilliantly captured by the actors but ultimately as the curtain fell I left scratching my head questioning what the last couple of hours were - for some, it'll land perfectly but for me, unfortunately, it sank.

Rating: ⭐⭐

The Homecoming continues at Curve until Saturday 30th April with tickets available from 

Shanaya Rafaat (Ruth), Ian Bartholomew (Sam) & Keith Allen (Max). Photo by Manuel Harlan

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