Home review at King's Theatre, Edinburgh – 'meticulously staged look at the creation of a home'

In Geoff Sobelle’s intricately choreographed and designed show, a house is constructed on stage. The production begins with Sobelle stapling plastic sheeting to a large wooden frame, but pretty soon a two-storey structure starts to take shape, complete with a kitchen, a study and a bathroom. The house fills with people.

One by one they materialise. At first they go through their daily routine: morning showers, late-night embraces, the endless folding of laundry. There’s a sense of echo and overlap in these scenes, of the stories a house soaks up over generations.

There’s little dialogue but, through meticulous stagecraft and Lee Sunday Evans’ warm, pictorial direction, we are presented with a collage of human experience: birth, death and everything in between. Home at King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. Photos: Hillarie Jason, Jacques-Jean Tiziou and Maria Baranova-Suzuki

The theatre itself becomes an extension of the house: a welcome is extended to the audience and though the show has a core cast of seven, by the end the stage is full of people as weddings and graduations are enacted, and people dance slowly with one another in the background. The quieter moments – the sight of the sun slowly rising through the window, wonderfully lit by Christopher Kuhl – are just as striking as the cacophony of later scenes, in which hundreds of mini-stories collide with one another and a brass band explodes on to the stage. The use of original music performed live by Elvis Perkins can feel a little syrupy and the show never really explores what it means when a home ceases to be a source of comfort and security, but it’s an often magical, meditative piece on what a home can be.

Which, the show expresses, is all the things it can contain.

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