Review: Home, where some of the audience would rather have stayed

Home, Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 1:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th October 2021, 1:46 pm

We have all spent far too much time at home during the past two years.

So the final production of Festival 2021 is, if only for the choice of name, an appropriate one.

But what type of home is this?

David Storey's script teases the audience like a shifting kaleidoscope.

At first glance we are in the gardens of a stately home with two well-heeled gentlemen in post-war England.

But appearances can be deceptive.

As Harry (Daniel Cerqueira) and Jack (John Mackay) are joined by Kathleen (Hayley Carmichael) and Marjorie (Dona Croll) the audience is encouraged to suspect this is no ordinary aristocratic residence.

The ambiguous planting - flowers or weeds? - adds to the visual complexity.

The arrival of Alfred (Leon Annor) finally helps to shed light as we see the characters anew and stereotypes are entirely reimagined.

Lives are rarely straightforward or predictable - and certainly none of these are.

A clever play, witty and waspish, which is set in a polished production. But for all that, it is slow in patches and lacks the pace or pathos to end the season in a blaze of theatrical glory.

Despite the confinement of lockdown, some of the audience would rather have stayed at home.

Gary Shipton