The Homecoming, is one of Harold Pinter’s most ambiguous, sexually orientated play that eradicates family values and morals. Although somewhat dark, it is nevertheless comedic throughout with explicit language. Two main themes, sex and power, they’re established in this play through the use of the characters. Even though this play is highly stylised -on the verge of being unrealistic the play underlines certain truths about the dark side of human nature, giving an insight to what can happen behind closed doors.
Due to the challenging nature of this play there is no doubt that the talented cast of ROGUE’Z Theatre Company chose this play for the Cardiff Comedy festival. Their habit of seeking out plays rarely performed is what makes their work original and special for theatre in Wales. The simplistic staging and the lack of physical action makes it clear that they must rely on their voice and characterisation to deliver this challenging performance. They excelled in this task. Each actor showed a true deeper meaning into the madness of the this peculiar family. Their individual and perfected mannerisms brought to life Pinter’s equivocal characters. Jeff Fifer playing the role of the embittered father Max, demonstrated the robustness of this character. His comedic timings are impeccable and he nonetheless creates a dynamic stance to this play. Andreas Constantinou not only directing the play, but embodying Lenny, creates a character that dominates the household with wit and suave. His charming method of delivery gave an insight to the psychotic mind of an unsettled man. Ray Thomas plays the loveable character of Uncle Sam, his nervous disposition and obedience to his brother Max is highlighted throughout Ray’s performance and the audience feels empathy towards him. Darren Freebury-Jones playing Joey, a character who’s ambition in life is to become a boxer yet lacking education was portrayed very convincingly by Darren and kept the audience entertained . Richard Jones playing Teddy, portrays him as disconnected towards the rest of the family. Even though he is considered the most intelligent he lets himself be undermined by everyone else. The only female in this play is Ruth, played by Nerys Rees, she accentuates the power she has as a woman and when she wants to she can make every word roll off her tongue and capture the characters and audience’s attention.
Overall these characters, outlandish in ways, appear troubled from their past and make the audience want to delve in even further, thus leaving us to question and debate Pinter’s hidden meanings in the play. I believe that Pinter would have approved of this clever and imaginative interpretation of the Homecoming. If you’re a fan of Pinter’s work or interested in dark humour than this play is a must-see for you.