The Homecoming

The Homecoming

By Harold Pinter
Ticket prices: £6 - £29.5
Thu 31 Jan 2008 - Sat 22 Mar 2008

"The foremost representative of British drama in the second half of the twentieth century" 
The Swedish Academy citation on awarding Harold Pinter the Nobel Prize for Literature 2005.

Set in an all male household in North London, Pinter’s play explores the reaction of the family to the homecoming of the eldest son and his wife.

The Homecoming received its world premiere at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1965 directed by Peter Hall. It has subsequently been produced on stage world wide in many languages. In 1965 Hall directed a film version and in March 2007 Thea Sharrock directed it for Radio 3 with Harold Pinter as Max.

Michael Attenborough is Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre, his recently acclaimed productions include The Mercy Seat, The Late Henry Moss, Enemies, There Came A Gypsy Riding, Big White Fog, and most recently Awake and Sing!

Director Michael Attenborough
Design Jonathan Fensom
Lighting Neil Austin
Sound John Leonard

Additional matinee on Wed 19 March due to demand 

Talkback: Wed 19 March: stay in the auditorium after the performance to have your questions answered by members of The Homecoming company.

Download the production programme as a PDF document


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The Cast of The Homecoming
Kenneth Cranham

Kenneth Cranham

Kenneth Cranham (Max) was last at the Almeida in Richard Eyre’s production of The Novice.   His more recent theatre credits include Gaslight at the Old Vic, Endgame at the Gate Theatre and The UN Inspector at the National Theatre.  His other theatre credits include the National Theatre’s productions of Flight, Cardiff East and the title role in An Inspector Calls which he also performed in the West End and on Broadway.  He has worked extensively for the Royal Shakespeare Company, most recently he played Sir Peter Teazle in The School for Scandal. His television work comprises Warriors, Hussle, Rome, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, Our Mutual Friend, Lady Audley’s Secret and the title role in Shine on Harvey Moon. His film work includes Hot Fuzz, Layer Cake, Trauma, Gangster No 1, The Boxer, On Dangerous Ground and Prospero’s Books.

Neil Dudgeon

Neil Dudgeon


Neil Dudgeon’s (Teddy) extensive theatre credits for the Royal Court include Fewer Emergencies, Mountain Language, Ashes to Ashes, Blasted and Talking in Tongues.  His other theatre credits include The Importance of Being Earnest for the Royal Exchange, The Daughter-in-Law for Bristol Old Vic and Closer and Yerma for the National Theatre.  His television work includes Roman’s Empire, The Lavender List, Messiah, Tom Jones and Between the Lines.  His film work includes Son of Rambow, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Prick Up Your Ears.

Danny Dyer

Danny Dyer


Danny Dyer (Joey) was previously at the Almeida in Harold Pinter’s Celebration as well as Peter Gill’s Certain Young Men.  In 2002 he played Spooner in Pinter’s No Man’s Land for the National Theatre.  His television credits include Kiss of Death, Skins, All in the Game, Rose and Malone, Foyles War, Soldier Soldier and Bramwell.  On film his credits include Outlaw, Straightheads, The Business, Football Factory, Mean Machine, Borstal Boys and Human Traffic.

Jenny Jules

Jenny Jules


Jenny Jules (Ruth) made her Almeida Theatre debut as Ella in Michael Attenborough’s critically acclaimed production of Theodore Ward’s Big White Fog earlier this year. Her other theatre work includes Fabulation, Gem of the Ocean, Walk Hard, The Promise and The Colour of Justice all for the Tricycle Theatre, The Vagina Monologues at the New Ambassadors Theatre, Born Bad at Hampstead and When we are Married at Birmingham Rep. Her television credits include Casualty, Golden Hour, Judge John Deed and I Saw You and her film credits include Red Light Runners, Octane, SW9 and WIT.

Nigel Lindsay

Nigel Lindsay


Nigel Lindsay (Lenny) returns to the Almeida where he has most recently been seen as Moe Axelrod in Michael Attenborough’s production of Awake and Sing!  Previously at the Almeida he was seen in Romance, The Earthy Paradise and The Tower.  His other theatre credits include Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre, The Woman Before and Push Up for the Royal Court, The Pillowman, Blue Remembered Hills and Dealers Choice for the National Theatre and The Real Thing for the Donmar Warehouse which later transferred to the West End and Broadway.  is television credits include Jam and Jerusalem, All About George, New Tricks, My Family, Harbour Lights and Murphy’s Law.  His film credits include On A Clear Day, Mike Bassett England Manager and Rogue Trader.

Anthony O'Donnell

Anthony O'Donnell

Anthony O’Donnell (Sam) returns to the Almeida where he last played The Fool in King Lear. His other theatre credits include Kings of Hearts for Hampstead Theatre, President of an Empty Room, Cyrano and The London Cuckolds for the National Theatre, Twelfth Night, Uncle Vanya and Glengarry Glen Ross for the Donmar Warehouse, The Weir at the Duke of York’s and many productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company including, most recently, As You Like It and All’s Well That Ends Well. His television credits include Hotel Babylon, Charles II, The Last Detective and Pie in the Sky. His film credits include Match Point, Secrets and Lies, Vera Drake and Robin Hood.

The Homecoming Creative Team


Michael Attenborough



Jonathan Fensom



Neil Austin



John Leonard

Reviews & Articles


“**** (4 stars)...well worth catching”
Georgina Brown, Mail on Sunday, 10 February 2008 
“Michael Attenborough’s excellently acted production… undoubtedly indecently entertaining.. ”
Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 9 February 2008 
“Michael Attenborough’s production is exemplary.  It is pitch perfect… Jenny Jules is perfection”
Kate Kellaway, The Observer, 10 February 2008 
Read full review
“**** (4 stars), sleek and shocking as ever… beautifully executed in Michael Attenborough’s excellent production”
Sarah Hemming, Financial Times, 11 February 2008 
Read full review  
“**** (4 stars)...Michael Attenborough’s revival does full justice to the play’s below-the-belt observation and flyblown wit… Kenneth Cranham is simply terrific… the most fearsome Max I have seen” 
Benedict Nightingale, The Times, 8 February 
Read full review  
“****(4 stars)...Michael Attenborough’s production imparts fresh narrative tension... Miss Jules is laden with sex appeal and radiates a poised inscrutability… Attenborough captures the humour in Pinter’s black comedy...” 
Nicholas De Jongh, Evening Standard, 8 February 2008 

“.. despite the play’s age it’s impossible in Michael Attenborough’s pacy production not to feel chilled…Attenborough captures wonderfully a sense of psychosexual menace”
Claire Allfree, Metro, 11 February 2008
“..Michael Attenborough's excellent revival..”
Michael Billington, The Guardian, 9 February 2008

Read full review

"**** (4 stars)... fine character acting"

Caroline McGinn, Time Out, 13 February 2008

Read full review

"**** (4 stars)... bitterly funny, powerful revival"

Paul Taylor, Independent, 12 February 2008

Read full review


Michael Attenborough talks about directing The Homecoming on, 6 February 2008

Read article 

Pinter and the Almeida

Harold Pinter has had a long association with the Almeida Theatre; seven of his plays have been staged here, three of these as world premieres:

Betrayal - 1991

Party Time - premiere - 1991

No Man's Land - 1993

Moonlight - premiere - 1993

Celebration (premiere)/The Room - 2000

The Homecoming - 2008

Artistic Director of the Almeida, Michael Attenborough, discusses Pinter as his favourite playwright:

"Pinter takes his audience through an experience that is very ambivalent. You get seduced in and then you get smacked. You get pulled into the atmosphere and the tension between the characters and then get duly shocked, thrilled or surprised. You're always on a knife-edge of involvement and non-involvement, and it's precisely this lack of comfort that makes his plays so intriging...

People often have this vision of Harold as an irredeemably serious man but his legacy both as a man and as a writer is twinned with great humanity and humour - you are switching almost second by second from horror to laughter. I think I've always distrusted pieces of theatre that are completely devoid of humour because I don't think life's like that - even in the most ghastly of circumstances something arises which is absurd or ridiculous or ironic. That is the nature of the human condition and that is where Pinter's legacy resides, in that twin vision of brutality and humour."

Extract from Almeida Theatre's Circle of Supporters' Spring 2008 newsletter.More Information

Pinter in his own words:

"I have often been asked how my plays come about. I cannot say. Nor can I ever sum up my plays, except to say that this is what happened. That is what they said. That is what they did. Most of the plays are engendered by a line, a word or an image. The given word is often shortly followed by the image. I shall give [an] example of [a] line which came right out of the blue into my head, followed by an image, followed by me... The first line of The Homecoming is 'What have you done with the scissors?'... I had no further information..."

Extract from Harold Pinter's acceptance speech for his Nobel Prize for Literature, December 2005.

The full speech can be read at 

Photo of actors Nigel Lindsay & Jenny Jules in The Homecoming. Photo by Hugo Glendinning
Arts Council England ASP Group