Home I’m Darling is a new play about a husband and wife (Richard Harrington and Katherine Parkinson) living in modern-day Welwyn Garden City as if it’s the 1950s; a couple halfway between the Amish and the Conkies.
Writer Laura Wade employs this Supersizers-style premise and a cross section of a ‘50s house to explore a cross section of social issues, as The IT Crowd‘s Parkinson (having perfected the role of crackly-voiced neurotic) finds her gender attitudes sliding backwards 60 years. Like Graham Linehan.
As with everything from that video of Theresa May getting stuck in her car to that gif of a skateboard sending a cyclist into a river, Home I’m Darling looks like an analogy for Brexit. Our housewife hero is nostalgic and romantic for a time that never really existed; a time when domestic misery was plastered over by gaudy wallpaper.
These ideas are dissected with whip-smart wit, pin-up performances and devilish detail in the period music, costumes and decor. Tamara Harvey’s directing makes energetic use of the sitcom-looking house and the best use of Welwyn since The World’s End.
Playing at London’s Duke of York’s Theatre until 13th April, this is an illuminating and illusory exploration of marriage, #MeToo, feminism and fantasy that asks the question: