London's Almeida to Revive Pinter's Homecoming; Casting Announced

News   London's Almeida to Revive Pinter's Homecoming; Casting Announced
London's Almeida Theatre will revive Harold Pinter's The Homecoming. Pinter's play will officially open at the north London venue Feb. 7, 2008, following previews that begin Jan. 21.

The new production will be directed by the Almeida's artistic director, Michael Attenborough. The cast will include Kenneth Cranham (Gaslight, The U.N. Inspector); Neil Dudgeon (Pinter's Ashes to Ashes and Mountain Language at the Royal Court); Jenny Jules (who recently appeared in Attenborough's Almeida production of The Big White Fog); Nigel Lindsay (Awake and Sing!, also at the Almeida); and Anthony O'Donnell (King of Hearts).

Set in an all-male household in North London, The Homecoming explores the family's reaction when the eldest son Teddy (Dudgeon) returns to the family home with his coldly alluring wife Ella (Jules).

The play received its world premiere at the RSC in 1965 with a production directed by Peter Hall. Earlier this year the modern classic was directed for BBC radio by Thea Sharrock (Equus), with Pinter playing the bullying patriarch Max – the role to be played by Cranham in Attenborough's production.

Michael Billington revealed in his biography of Pinter that the play sprang out of the return to Britain of one of Pinter's friends with a non-Jewish wife who he had kept secret for many years.

Casting Jules – a black actress — in the role of Ella may be an attempt by Attenborough to chime his production with the racial tensions that sparked the play. The Almeida production will be designed by Jonathan Fensom and is booking until March 22, 2008.

The upcoming Broadway revival of The Homecoming, which will be directed by Daniel Sullivan, is scheduled to begin previews at the Cort Theatre Nov. 23. The New York cast will include Ian McShane, Raúl Esparza, Eve Best, James Frain, Michael McKean and Gareth Saxe.

For more on The Homecoming call (0) 7359 4404.

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