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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Rachelle Abbott

Standard Theatre Podcast: Jared Harris and Joe Cole on The Homecoming, Harold Pinter and toxic masculinity

Warning, this episode of The Standard Theatre Podcast contains themes which some listeners may find distressing.

Returning to the stage for the first time in ages, Jared Harris (who has starred in Mad Men and Chernobyl) and Joe Cole (Gangs of London, Peaky Blinders) join our theatre podcast this week from the Young Vic, where they are currently in The Homecoming.

The pair tell us about what attracted them to Harold Pinter’s 1964 dark family drama, in this stylish revival directed by Matthew Dunster.

The play is about academic Teddy (Robert Emms) who brings his wife Ruth (Call the Midwife's Lisa Diveney) home after six years of being away in America and introducing her to his brutally misogynistic family, which he has tried to escape.

Stewing in this claustrophobic atmosphere are patriarch Max, played by Harris, a butcher, his son Lenny (Cole), a pimp, younger brother Joey (David Angland) and Max's brother Sam (Nicolas Tennant).

Lisa Diveney and Joe Cole in The Homecoming at the Young Vic (Manuel Harlan)

The pair discusses the themes of toxic masculinity that remain relevant to this day, and Harris recalls a run in with Pinter (though lost to the recording, Nick Curtis recounts it)

This week we also review new shows Ulster American and Cold War.

Ulster American, now on at Riverside Studios, has the star casting of Woody Harrelson, returning to the London stage after two decades. The three hander also stars Andy Serkis (the man behind Gollum and many other creatures) and Derry Girls' Louisa Harland. Warning, this darkly comic play deals with distressing topics including discussions of sexual assault throughout.

For the second review, it’s Cold War at the Almeida Theatre, adapted by Conor McPherson from Pawel Pawlikowski’s award-winning 2018 film. It stars The Witcher's Anya Chalotra and Luke Thallon and features music by Elvis Costello.

Big news to discuss this week too. Indhu Rubasinghamhas been announced as the incoming director of the National Theatre, a very special plaque was unveiled by the Operation Mincemeat ream at the Fortune Theatre, and Paddington the Musical is coming to the West End in 2025.

Listen above or wherever you find your podcasts.

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