Having been nominated for five Olivier awards and winning one- Home, I’m Darling was in good stead and certainly did not disappoint.
The play told the story of Judy, a woman living in modern day England with her husband, however she is living in the lifestyle of a 1950’s housewife. Their home is fully decorated like the era with their meals and clothes being the same.
We see the objections of this from her mother and best friend as well as the marital strains it causes, particularly when her husband Johnny becomes involved with another woman.
The set was sublime and one of the best I have ever seen in theatre. It acted like a dolls house, the front opening out to the audience revealing fully scaled rooms that took up the whole stage. The intricacy and detail in the decor and furniture was creative and transported the audience into the different era.
Katherine Parkinson as Judy was on top form, rarely taking a breather throughout the whole two and a half hours. Though her character was annoying at times, particularly in times of struggle, Parkinson played her brilliantly and brought a fresh and new angle of the character with every scene. Additionally, the wit she brought to the character was noted, particularly her confusion to more modern advances after hiding away from the ‘real world’ for years.
However, it was Susan Brown as mum Sylvia who stole the show. Though not featured heavily, her character had massive impact and fantastic one-liners. A lengthy monologue was met my applause from the audience and the fire within her character made all her scenes exciting.
Director Tamara Harvey transformed Laura Wade’s script into a 1950’s party including many a well known ’50s track playing throughout the transitions, accompanied by the cast jiving and lindyhopping along.
Having such a small cast of six would be a big challenge to fill such a long time however the intertwining of the scenes and how each character came to visit Judy in turn, made it refreshing.
Home, I’m Darling proved that theatre does not need to be heavy or overly dramatic to be engaging and interesting. Instead, the light-hearted humour made it an enjoyable performance.