Harold Pinter’s modern classic The Homecoming returned to the London stage last night (7 February 2008, previews from 21 January) when Michael Attenborough’s new production opened at the Almeida Theatre for a run to 22 March (See News, 19 Oct 2007). Both Pinter and Sir Peter Hall, who directed the play’s 1965 premiere at the National Theatre as well as the 1969 film version, were on hand for the opening.

Set in an all-male household in north London, Pinter’s play explores the reaction of the family to the homecoming of the eldest son and his wife. In Attenborough’s production, Kenneth Cranham plays patriarch Max, with Jenny Jules as his new daughter-in-law Ruth (the first black actress to play the role), the woman who seduces them all. They’re joined in the cast by Neil Dudgeon (as Teddy), Danny Dyer (Joey), Nigel Lindsay (Lenny) and Anthony O'Donnell (Sam).

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF THE HOMECOMING’s 1st NIGHT PHOTOS, JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.

For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the post-show party at the Almeida along with the company, Harold Pinter, Peter Hall and other first-night guests including Jonathan Pryce, Kate Fahy, Rula Lenska, Lindsay Posner, Anthony Page, Will Tuckett, Lolita Chakrabarti, Indhu Rubasingham, Douglas Henshall, Ralph Brown and Croatian playwright Tena Stivicic.

Pinter’s play was last seen in London in a 2001 West End production, starring Ian Holm and Lia Williams, at the Comedy Theatre. This Almeida production coincides with a major revival on Broadway, where Britons Ian McShane, Eve Best and James Frain star.

-by Terri Paddock