16 May 2019

Theatre Review - Home, I’m Darling

So this may be a long time coming but I’ve been away on a trip of a life time to California and only just had the opportunity to sit down and getting writing (more on that in an upcoming blog post!) but I just wanted to write a little review of a play I went to see before I went away! Three weeks ago I was kindly gifted two tickets to see the marvellous Katherine Parkinson in the Laura Wade play, Home, I’m Darling at The Lowry Theatre in Salford. You probably recognise Katherine from off of the tv in shows such as Humans and The IT Crowd but if not she is basically wonderful character actor that is both incredibly funny but moving all at once! Before I had even received tickets I was keen to see this play, it had already received stella reviews from it’s run in the West End and a massive billboard on my drive to work was basically urging me to go! 

A National Theatre and Theatr Clwyd production, Home, I’m Darling sees Parkinson reprise her role as Judy in this fizzing comedy about one woman’s quest to be the perfect 1950s Housewife, but behind the gingham curtains things start to unravel and being a domestic goddess is not as easy as it seems. 

One of my favourite parts of the whole production was the set design, there was literally a whole house on the stage! It soon came to light that this was like a massive dolls house, as Katherine danced around the stage opening panels, pushing whole walls aside. The artificiality of their home maybe a nod to the artificial life they were creating or the assumed perfection of this dolls house type life that may not be as pristine as previously seen (very Stepford Wives). It made what could be a very static performance have depth and movement that wouldn’t have been readily available from a singular located production. Later in the play, after the interval, we see a flashback to the couple first working on making the house into the 1950s bazaar we see today, wall hangings are different, wallpaper plain and unappealing, painters protective sheets cover furniture, this had obviously been done during the break, but how were we to return back to present day? It was this that was my favourite staging change, sheets were sucked into seemingly invisible crevices, painting fell from walls, walls rotated 180 to reveal new wallpaper, it was genius and allowed for a certain pathetic fallacy, with a blink of an eye things can change. 

Another element I loved was the costumes and music that was used during the piece, brilliant, bright and beautiful was obviously the theme! 1950s inspired costumes were used (a character does mention that the actual 1950s weren’t so bright and shiny) and each scene change was pinned with 1950s/60s Northern Soul music and dances! 

It was a wonderfully funny, painful, heartbreaking and joyful piece that was a rollercoaster of emotions but I would recommend to anyone! At the end of the day it was real, just like you! Even if you don’t have an interest in the 1950s. Home, I’m Darling has finished its current run but I’m sure it will be showing somewhere very soon as it’s brilliant, so check it out when it does! 

Lauren Eliza x

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