The Homecoming was first performed in 1965 after Pinter had taken a five-year pause over full-length stage work. Significantly, it concerns the return of academic son Teddy (Jayston) to his North London familial nest, a smouldering pyre of hatred and resentment presided over by Max (Rogers). This demonic Alf Garnett, when not spitting contempt for his poovy bachelor brother (Cusack), waxes hateful, rapturous and disgusted about his dead wife, best friend, and homebound sons, loquacious pimp Lenny (Holm) and dumbbell pugilist Joey (Rigby). In this battle of wills, Teddy's enigmatic wife (Merchant) finally triumphs, while hubby returns to his US campus unsure of his ability to operate 'on' situations rather than 'in' them. Hall has produced his best work for the cinema with this sensitive adaptation: a riveting, often hilarious piece (with outstanding performances from Holm, Cusack and Rogers) which makes one quite melancholy about Pinter's self-willed decline into a Bakerloo Line imitation of Samuel Beckett.
Cast and crew