SOULPEPPER STAGES ALMOST FORGOTTEN MASTERPIECE
Words by Rebecca Poynton-Murray
Images by Cylla von Tiedemann
Whether a regular attendee or a first timer to the theatre, you will undoubtedly have certain expectancies and some awareness of what is in store. So it is refreshing to settle down to Soulpepper’s staging of the rarely produced, ‘Home’.
A quintessentially British play, ‘Home’ was written by David Storey who was important to the renaissance of 60s and 70s English playwriting. The story diagnoses human interaction in its simplest form.
The lights are raised revealing Harry (played by Founding Soulpepper Member Michael Hanrahan) seated on an ornate chair on a neatly manicured lawn, staring silently into the distance. He is swiftly joined by companion Jack (Oliver Dennis) and the play revolves around the conversation of the two men. The exchange covers everything from judging passers by, to reminiscing of humorous times passed. Both actors speak with accurate British accents and make use of common slang (‘are you having us on?’, roughly translated, means ‘are you being serious?’)
Deciding on a pre lunch stroll, the gentlemen leave room for two rougher women with East London accents to take their place. Mimicking the previous scene, the pair hold a conversation on a more crude level, with one eye on the wandering Harry and John passing them by. Eventually, the foursome interacts, producing a humourous conversation that deeply engages the audience.
This is a particularly special event for Soulpepper, as leading man Oliver Dennis celebrates his 50th production with the company, as well as his 50th Birthday. Absolutely marvelous, as they say across the pond.
‘Home’ is on stage now until June 20th at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts.