Cleverly setting Homer’s Odysseus in contemporary times, ‘Nobody’s Home’ is an original and inventive play which considers the problems soldiers – and their loved ones – face upon returning home.
The plot sees Grant, a soldier in Afghanistan, unable to leave the war behind, so mentally scarred is he by the war’s atrocities. This leaves him hiding in the bathroom, unwilling to face ‘real life,’ while his wife Penny patiently faces her own battles as she waits for him to truly return.
The subject matter is handled with sensitivity and respect by the writers and cast, who brilliantly convey the different emotions the characters go through. Dorie Kinnear is superb in the different roles she plays. Her Penny is full of compassion and desperation, often at the same time, while Will Pinchin (who is on stage at all times) carries the role of Grant with strength, grace and aplomb.
Visually, the play is simple yet extremely inventive, using a scarcity of props to good effect. A bath in the middle of the stage succeeds in perfectly recreating a boat adrift on the seas, a psychologist’s office and even a secluded river in a deserted Afghanistan location. It is to the credit of the actors that they make these sets feel real and the dilemmas, hopes and concerns of their characters utterly absorbing. Never once do they hit a false note or lose our attention.
Some might feel ‘Nobody’s Home’ is slightly over-cooked in places and that it tries too hard to make a point that war is bad (as if we didn’t already know it), but if you immerse yourself fully in this well-crafted play, you leave with a sense of having seen something truly inventive and original.
Adrian G. Velazquez