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BrumHour saw Home, I’m Darling at the invite of The Alexandra.
For Brum Radio’s Interval Theatre, Jessica Ransom spoke about her role in Home, I’m Darling. Listen below:
By George Elsmere-Whitney twitter.com/caramellattekiss
Review: Home, I’m Darling at The Alexandra
⭐⭐⭐⭐”A clever script, Jessica Ransom is excellent”
Directed by Tamara Harvey written by Laura Wade
Judy and Johnny are disgracefully happy with their 1950s lifestyle. Johnny goes out to work as a real estate agent, while Judy stays at home to cook, clean, and be the angel in the house. However, the cracks are beginning to show under the (spotlessly clean) surface.
In Home, I’m Darling, Judy (Jessica Ransom) has left her high-powered finance job in order to be a housewife, so she and her husband Johnny (Neil McDermott) can live their 1950s hobby full-time. Unfortunately for Judy, the fantasy is not quite what she hoped. The money is beginning to run out, Johnny is spending more time with his new boss than Judy is really comfortable with, and her best friend’s husband, Marcus (Steve Blacker-Barrowman at this performance) is taking his ’50s values a little too far.
The sets and costumes by Anna Heischle are a triumph and a real treat for fans of the era. The script from Laura Wade is clever, forcing the audience to ask themselves questions about the roles we play in our relationships and what it really means to be happy. Judy has carefully disconnected herself from the real world, comparing trying to get back to reality to going back to school after a bout of laryngitis. She’s not sure how to cope with people or the pressures of office life. While Judy plays house, Johnny is struggling with his new role as provider, and wondering where the witty, intelligent woman he married has gone.
Ransom does an excellent job of playing Judy, with a slight edge of hysteria and panic bubbling under the serene surface. Cassie Bradley as Judy’s best friend, Fran, brings plenty of moments of comic relief, before effortlessly flipping the tone into something much more serious. Judy’s mum, Sylvia, (Diane Keen) brings Judy crashing back to reality, with some harsh home truths about how different the ’50s really were from Judy’s pastel-coloured vision.
When the bubble finally bursts on their 1950s dream, Judy and Johnny begin to find a new path that brings their fantasy and modern life closer together. However, the end is tied up a little neatly, with no real exploration of why Judy was so unhappy in the modern world in the first place. Poor Fran is also left abandoned by the plot, stuck married to the ‘too friendly’ Marcus, who is pushing her to be more like Judy.
Home, I’m Darling asks some important questions about gender politics, under a 1950s Formica veneer and is at The Alexandra until Saturday 29 April 2023. Book tickets using BrumHour’s affiliate link >> HERE <<.