A Guide for the Homesick Tickets

Trafalgar Studios 2 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY
Performance Timings
Monday - 19:45
Tuesday - 19:45
Wednesday - 19:45
Thursday 15:00 19:45
Friday - 19:45
Saturday 15:00 19:45
Sunday - -
Show Info

Book A Guide for the Homesick Tickets

A tender and bittersweet play about conscience and connection.

Teddy is searching for a friend for the night. Jeremy is searching for a beer. Worlds apart and miles away from home, two strangers, consumed by their own secrets, find each other in a hotel room in Amsterdam.

Can you confess your greatest fear to a stranger?

A new play by the award-winning American writer Ken Urban, A Guide for The Homesick is an erotic thriller that explores the cost of being a friend when you are afraid to love, starring Douglas Booth as Jeremy and Clifford Samuel as Teddy. Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle.

Important information

Running time
1hr 20min (no interval)
Booking Until
Sat, 24 November 2018
Cast

A Guide for the Homesick Cast

Jeremy - Douglas Booth

Teddy - Clifford Samuel


Creative Team

Director - Jonathan O’Boyle

Producer - Stage Traffic Productions

Designer - Jason Denvir

Lighting Designer - Nic Farman

Sound - Max Perryment

Author - Ken Urban
Reviews

A Guide for the Homesick Critics & Reviews

Theater Review: “A Guide for the Homesick” — Modern Uncertainty

Coming of age in today’s world is a tumultuous and confusing experience; Ken Urban’s script expertly taps into these modern anxieties.

A Guide for the Homesick by Ken Urban. Directed by Colman Domingo. Staged by the Huntington Theater Company at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, through November 4.

On the surface, being stranded on a desert island might seem to be a rotten fate. The scorching heat, the lack of human contact, having to subsist on a 90% coconut diet–it doesn’t exactly sound like the ideal vacation. Yet a longing for this dream of isolation persists in our collective imagination, so perhaps such an extreme escape has an archetypal appeal. Perhaps what we long for is a life untethered from society, freed from secrets and lies and obligations.

The characters in Ken Urban’s new play, A Guide for the Homesick, aren’t castaways, but they’ve found a similar state of exile in an Amsterdam hotel room. Teddy (McKinley Belcher III), a banker who’s out to give his best friend a last stab at freedom before his wedding, meets Jeremy (Samuel H. Levine), a Harvard graduate who shocked his wealthy family (and fiancee) by signing up to work in a Ugandan medical clinic. They head back to Teddy’s room to drink, talk, and (Teddy assumes) hook up. What begins as a chance encounter evolves into a deeper connection as the secrets these men carry begin to unravel, forcing them to confront the truth about who they really are.

The majority of Urban’s drama may take place between two people in a single hotel room, but it is not your conventionally neat two-hander. The script’s emotional depth is continually rich and surprising, its characterizations free of stereotypes. Urban uncovers fascinating new layers in characters we thought we understood. Assisted by their developing relationship, Teddy and Jeremy explore new facets in their personalities. Questions of self-doubt, regret, and sexual discovery are brought to the forefront and examined with frank honesty. Each man prods the other to face his own deepest fears and uncertainties; the result is both captivating and profoundly moving.

Urban’s nuanced writing is one of the production’s major strengths, but the drama couldn’t achieve the power it does if the Huntington Theatre Company’s two lead performers weren’t willing to be as emotionally honest as the script demands. Belcher and Levine give brilliant performances, both in terms of their individual achievements and the crackling chemistry between them. Even during the play’s early moments sparks fly, though the two are only having a conversation as they sit at opposite ends of a hotel room. Levine gives Jeremy an undercurrent of tension and neuroticism that dovetails with Belcher’s genuine sweetness as Teddy. Like skilled trapeze artists, each of these performers clearly trusts the other to ‘catch’ him other during the action’s riskiest emotional moments.

Director Colman Domingo has fostered an atmosphere of mutual trust between his leads. He has also wisely paced the show to accentuate the rising tension in Urban’s script. The opening moments in the narrative are mundane, and the actors’ movements feel similarly lax and typical. However, as the characters reveal what they have fought so hard to hide, and confront the turmoil churning inside themselves, the staging becomes more dynamic. The men being to circle each other like dance partners, particularly once the play transitions to flashbacks of Jeremy’s time in Africa. Domingo takes what could be a theatrical limitation — the ‘kitchen sink’ confines of a hotel room, and explores its opportunities for staging and movement. The result is a beautiful and captivating visual experience.

The technical aspects of the show, much like the characters themselves, set up a façade that harbors plenty of its own mysteries. It would be courting spoilers to talk about these hidden layers, but rest assured that William Boles’s set, which initially appears to be a standard hotel room (including outdated furniture and drab periwinkle wallpaper) has its potential to startle. Russell H. Champa’s lighting work also seems, at least at the play’s opening, pretty humdrum, but it eventually proves to be vital in shifting the mood of the play, especially through its use of color. The sound and music provided by Lindsay Jones is understated but effective, especially when (in tandem with some water effects) it creates the illusion of a rainstorm.

The play’s dramatic weakness may be its use of double casting, which strikes me as uneven in terms of its emphasis. Each of the performers are called on to play two roles; Belcher provides a joyful, heartbreaking performance as Nicholas, a gay African man who Jeremy became close to during his time in Uganda. Levine’s other character is Ed, Teddy’s best friend who has traveled to Amsterdam with him and has gone missing before the action of the play begins. Ed is suffering from some undefined mental illness (possibly depression or bipolar disorder) that the play seems to find significant. But Urban doesn’t devote enough time to clarifying Ed’s story. Expanding this subplot for future productions could make this aspect of the script feel more substantial, which would add further depth to the already rich character of Teddy.

Aside from this under-developed plot element and some dialogue exchanges that feel a tad unsubtle, A Guide for the Homesick is a gripping drama packed with genuine emotional power. Not only have Urban’s characters been created with meticulous detail, but they’re brilliantly portrayed on-stage through the efforts of Domingo and the HTC’s hard-working pair of cast members. Coming of age in today’s world is a tumultuous and confusing experience; Urban’s script taps into these modern anxieties in a way that’s both refreshing and compelling. This is a play for anyone who has been forced to grapple with uncertainty and regret (which, in 2017, is just about everyone). A Guide for the Homesick may not provide easy answers to these quandaries, but it shows that those who struggle with such questions are far from alone.



By : Erik Nikander

Ref Link : artsfuse.org
Venue Info

Trafalgar Studios 2

14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY

VIEW SEATING PLAN


Trafalgar Studio 2

Address: 14 Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A 2DY, UK
Capacity: 380
Opened: September 29, 1930


Trafalgar Studios, formerly the Whitehall Theater until 2004, is a West End theater in Whitehall, near Trafalgar Square, in the City of Westminster, London. Also known as Trafalgar Studios at the Whitehall Theater in honour of its former incarnation, the building consists of two intimate theaters designed by architects Tim Foster and John Muir. Studio 1, the larger of the two spaces with 380 seats, opened on 3 June 2004 with the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Othello. Studio 2, with 100 seats, opened in October 2005 with the play Cyprus.


Bars:
 Foyer bar next to the Box Office. 25 steps to Stalls Bar (spacious, few seats). Drinks can be brought to disabled customers in the auditorium upon request.

Limited mobility: Leg room is generally good with extra space on the front row and on the side aisle of row E.

Access description: One shallow step up from the street through double swing doors into the foyer. Box Office opposite. All staircases have handrails and steps are highlighted. 25 steps down then up 10 steps in to the auditorium (3 steps between rows). Theatre opens 1 hour before performance.

Sound Amplification: Infrared system in the auditorium with 16 headsets, available from the box office with a deposit. Check with Box Office which seats in the auditorium have best reception.

Guide Dogs: Guide dogs are allowed inside the auditorium by prior arrangement with the theatre, alternatively staff are happy to dog-sit. You will be seated in an aisle seat.

Disabled Access: No spaces for people who need to remain in their wheelchairs. Transfer seating is available to Row A (3 spaces) and K (1 space). Access to Row A is through the Stalls Bar and Row K is up 14 steps. Wheelchair users must bring 2 people to help with the steps. The theatre can store a maximum of 3 wheelchairs per performance. Venue is not suitable for scooters.

Toilets: 22 steps up from the foyer to women’s and men’s. More toilets off the Stalls Bar.

Disabled Toilets: No adapted WC.


Rail

The nearest National Rail station to Trafalgar Studios is London Charing Cross, which is literally round the corner from the theater. Charing Cross connects the centre of London to many places in Kent and also provides quick connections to London Bridge and London Waterloo. Please see the directions below.

Charing Cross (3 minutes): Exit the station and take the immediate left down the Strand. You will reach a roundabout (Trafalgar Square will be ahead of you); continue walking left round the roundabout and then turn down Whitehall. Trafalgar Studios will be on the right hand side of the road.


Tube

The nearest tube stations are Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern Lines), Embankment (Bakerloo, Circle, District and Northern Lines) and Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly Lines.) Please see the directions below.

From Charing Cross (2 minutes): Please see the directions above in the ‘Rail’ section.

From Embankment (7 minutes): exit the station via the left hand exit (towards the City and the Strand) and walk up Villers St. Turn left onto the strand and keep walking until you meet the roundabout (Trafalgar Square will be ahead of you); continue walking left round the roundabout and then turn down Whitehall. Trafalgar Studios will be on the right hand side of the road.

From Leicester Square (7 minutes): Trafalgar studios is essentially in one big long straight line away from Leicester Square station. Take the exit and head south down Charing Cross Road. You will pass the Garrick Theater after about a minute of walking. Continue down the road, pass the Portrait Gallery, pass Trafalgar Square (which will be on your right) and continue straight over the roundabout onto Whitehall. The theater will be on the right hand side of the road.


Bus

Buses to Whitehall: 3, 11, 24, 87, 88, 159
Buses to Cockspur St (Trafalgar Square): 3, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 88, 453


Car

Trafalgar studios is within the London Congestion Charge Zone which applies from 7am until 6pm and costs £10 per day. If you are driving to the theater after 6pm then you will not be charged.

Trafalgar Studio is part of the Q-Park Scheme. The nearest participating car park is the 24hr Q Park in Trafalgar Square (SW1A 2TS). Parking costs £18 for up to 3hrs, and £24 for 4hrs but theatergoers can save 50% if they have their tickets validated at the theater.


Taxi

There will be plenty of black cabs around after the show has finished as taxi drivers are aware of the potential business. However you can also get a cab from the designated taxi rank at Charing Cross National Rail Station which is only a short walk away from the theater.


Facilities At Trafalgar Studios 2

Seat plan: Trafalgar Studio Two Seat Plan
Facilities:
Air-conditioned
Bar
Infrared hearing loop
Toilets

WHEELCHAIR SPACES: Yes, in the front row. Transfer seating also available.
INFRARED SYSTEM: Yes. Reception is best in seats A5-8, B6-9 C7-10 or D7-8. Devices are at the Box office (induction loop necklaces and headsets).
ACCESSIBLE TOILETS: Yes.
GUIDE DOGS: Yes.
NEAREST TUBE/RAIL STATION: Charing Cross and Embankment.
NEAREST CAR PARKS: Trafalgar Square Car Park, via Spring Gardens.


Nearest tube:  Charing Cross
Tube lines: Bakerloo, Northern
Location:  Fringe/Off West End
Railway station:  Charing Cross
Bus numbers:  (Whitehall) 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 88, 91, 159, 453; (Strand) 6, 9, 13, 15, 23, 29, 87, 139, 176
Night bus numbers:  (Whitehall) 12, 24, 53, 88, 159, 453, N2, N3, N5, N11, N18, N20, N44, N52, N87, N91, N97, N109, N136, N155, N381; (Strand) 6, 23, 139, 176, N9, N13, N15, N21, N26, N29, N41, N47, N89, N279, N343, N551
Car park:  Trafalgar (8mins)
Within congestion zone?:  Yes
Directions from tube:  (5mins) Head left on the main road Strand. Follow Trafalgar Square around onto Whitehall and the theatre’s on your right.

Photos

A Guide for the Homesick Photo Gallery