Theatre in Wales

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Doris Day and Rock Hudson 1950s

At Theatr Clwyd

Home I'm Darling , Theatr Clwyd, Mold. , July 4, 2018
At Theatr Clwyd by Home I'm Darling Judy only feels fully at home being a housewife in the 1950s, or at least in a Doris Day and Rock Hudson 1950s. She and Johnny live in a fully '50s themed house, with her taking care of her man's every need, staying home to cook and do the housework while he goes out to the office.

The trouble is that the world is no longer like that, indeed as Judy's mother says in an Act 2 diatribe, brilliantly delivered by Sian Thomas, it never was.

Before long outside pressures begin to build up and the 'perfect' marriage is under threat. Katherine Parkinson is superb as Judy, wearing her many dresses magnificently, playing the comedy just right but bringing out the underlying vulnerability. Just watch the way she handles the scene with married friend Marcus (Barnaby Kay), light and playful at the start but horrified when she realises how near she has come to prostitution at the end.

Richard Harrington too is on fine form as Johnny, seemingly happy within the 1950s ambiance but much more uncertain of how the relationship is fairing. And he has to cope with the pressures of work and balancing it with the intensity of Judy.

This is a big production, even though it is in the modest confines of the Emlyn Williams Theatre. Anna Fleischle's set is a two storey house, wonderfully decorated and with a couple of surprises along the way.

Tamara Harvey's direction keeps the action and the emotions flowing and provides some lively rock and roll interludes as props are moved to music.

And of course there's Laura Wade whose script gives us some very good and witty lines but above all balances the comedy and heartbreak to entertaining and absorbing effect and brilliantly handles the ebb and flow of relationships.

It was a pleasure to share this rocky marriage.

Reviewed by: Victor Hallett

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