Home, I’m Darling
Welcome to 1950’s suburbia – the perfect marriage in the perfect Ideal Homes family residence. Judy and Johnny are living their dream, husband as bread winner supported by his domestic goddess wife, who rises early to run his bath, cook his breakfast and prepare his lunchbox, before settling in to a day of tightly scheduled cleaning, baking and shopping duties. A glimpse of a laptop, a plastic milk bottle and a passing remark about eBay jolt the Utopian image and up the intrigue factor.
A recent winner in this year’s Olivier awards, Home, I’m Darling is Laura Wade’s new satirical comedy centred on the ideal life. In this picture-perfect world Katherine Parkinson is perfectly perfect as Judy in her simple life of domestic bliss, supported by her loving husband Johnny (Jo Stone-Fewings) but admonished by Susan Brown as her more realistic mother. Anna Fleischle’s impressive design offers a full size two-storey suburban house that fills the stage, with every room utilised by Tamara Harvey’s pacey direction. The jive-based scene changes add to the 1950s atmosphere, and the act two house renovation sequence deserves its applause.
This glimpse behind the gingham curtains keeps us guessing, makes us question the reality of a happy marriage and, above all, keeps us laughing.
Garry Thoams-Lowde for Canal St Online.