Neil Maxfield Reviews The Homecoming at Trafalgar Studio One
Jamie Lloyd has been steady at the helm at Trafalgar Studios since 2013 and to date has produced some solid material. The Homecoming is his second Pinter play to be performed here and is a 50th anniversary production of the play.
The staging which is minimalist is surrounded by a simple red frame in which to centre the action. This proves effective, especially the comfy chair placed strategically centre stage, inhabited by the patriarch Max throughout much of the play.
Max played by Ron Cook gives a stellar performance as the ageing father still trying to assert his dominance over the family, delivering his lines with dexterity whilst John Simm gives a disturbing and powerful performance as the domineering son Lenny. Joining them are Sam, the most docile of all the characters played by Keith Allen, a rather slow witted Joey played by John Macmillan and a dead pan Teddy played by Gary Kemp. The character of Ruth played by Gemma Chan was disappointingly underwhelming, with plenty of sexual allure but not much else.
The action moves along at a slightly faster pace than would be expected for Pinter, not allowing enough time for space of thought, but is punctuated by a few well-placed pauses and tableau which delineate each scene.
For those who like Pinter or who are just up for watching something that is more challenging in its subject matter, I would recommend this play. I give it 4 stars.