I recently saw Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming on stage for the first time. Having read it and another of his classics once before (his daunting drama The Birthday Party), I knew a bit of what to expect from the great 20th-century playwright. But I don’t know if anything ever prepares you to see a Pinter play on stage. All of the pauses and gestures that are easily skimmed over while reading come to life in a powerful way – of course, it helps that the cast of The Homecoming is phenomenal.
Just in case you haven’t seen or read The Homecoming, let me give you a quick overview (without giving too much away). The Homecoming centers on an all-male family, headed by patriarch Max, a retired butcher (Brian Dennehy); his three sons, Teddy, professor of philosophy (Mike Shara), Lenny, a pimp (Aaron Krohn) and Joey, a demolitionist and aspiring boxer (Ian Lake); and his brother Sam, a chauffer (Stephen Ouimette). After a six-year absence, Teddy brings his wife, Ruth, to his North London home to meet the family. Ruth immediately is exposed to the power struggle within the household and inserts herself neatly into the battle. Who ends up on top? You’ll have to come and see for yourself!
Here are some things that I find particularly interesting about the play:
1)The use of language. Pinter’s words really cut people to the core and to hear them uttered by such a great cast gives them a whole new depth of meaning.
2)The infamous Pinter pause. The chilling and sometimes awkward pauses in Pinter’s works are pregnant with meaning and are one of the reasons I loved seeing The Homecoming on stage. The absence of speech is just as important as the use of it.
3)There is a level of mystery and intrigue that lingers with you even after the production is over. Nothing is definite; you get to come to your own conclusions.
4)It’s shocking! Every time you think that the story will lead you one way, there is another twist or turn that will leave you utterly speechless.
Everything seems to come together in this production of The Homecoming to offer you Pinter perfection! It is a great way to ease any novice into Pinter’s theatrical works, and really is a must-see this season.
Want to find out more about the actors in this play? You’re invited to a free Meet the Festival question and answer event. Find out what it is like to be a part of this dysfunctional family! Join us at the Tom Patterson Theatre or tune in on Twitter @stratfestchris or @stratfestaaron at 9:30!
On Wednesday, August 24, come and chat with Brian Dennehy and Stephen Ouimette.
On Friday, August 26, come and chat with Ian Lake and Cara Ricketts.
On Wednesday, August 31, come and chat with Mike Shara.
Check out some production footage of The Homecoming!
To make sure that you see The Homecoming, we’re offering all Festival blog readers a great ticket deal. For only $39,* you can come and see this darkly funny, dynamic production.
Ordering is easy!
1. Log in to our website with promotion code 39958 (or create an account and then log in with same code).
2. Choose the performance on the calendar
3. Select “Promotion: 39958” as the price
4. Select A, B, or C zone seats
5. Pay and check-out
6. You can even choose to have your tickets emailed right to your inbox by selecting the “print at home” delivery option
*Offer is only applicable online. Applies to A, B and C zone seating for August 17, 19 & 24 performances of The Homecoming. Offer is personal, non-transferable and subject to availability. Offer may expire without notice. Not valid on MMP performances. Not applicable in conjunction with another offer, including Family Experience, PlayOn and Tixx. Offer is only available online. Performances, casting, dates and pricing are subject to change without notice