THEATRE REVIEW: The Homecoming starring John Simm and Gemma Chan


WHERE: Trafalgar Studios

WHEN: 19/11 runs to 13/2

This 50th anniversary production of Harold Pinter’s unsettling play has attracted a stellar cast including Gemma Chan (who starred in Channel Four’s Humans), John Simm, Gary Kemp and Keith Allen.

It is the latest production from the award-winning Jamie Lloyd Company at the Trafalgar Studios since the quite fantastic Ruling Class earlier this year.

The Homecoming never quite reaches those heights but succeeds in recreating the tension and threat of one of Pinter’s best loved works.

It is the story of Teddy (Kemp) and Ruth (Chan) who return to Teddy’s family home after their marriage. It is there they meet Teddy’s relatives; his father (an excellent Ron Cook), uncle and two brothers.

Anyone who has seen Humans will be familiar with the unerring ability of Chan’s to appear expressionless, or robot-like, and it is a trick she deploys again here at the beginning of Ruth’s transformation which forms the core of the play.

The set-piece where she captivates the men with a subtle crossing of her legs is surely the inspiration for Sharon Stone’s infamous Basic Instinct interrogation scene.

Ultimately The Homecoming makes for a disturbing evening but in Mr Lloyd’s hands it is one which is always delivered with assured style.

  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author Neil Durham on Twitter @NeilDurham. Tickets here.

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