Come in, hang up your coat, and find out why Geoff Sobelle's theatre-piece HOME is a place you'll want to visit this August.
1. Geoff Sobelle's award-winning direction
Actor, magician, and absurdist theatre-maker, Geoff Sobelle is known for injecting wonder into the everyday. Through a combination of dance, illusion, live music, and audience interaction, he holds the ordinary up for inspection and gives it a new poetic quality.
Last time he was in Edinburgh, he brought The Object Lesson to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a meditative piece on how we make ourselves our own museums by hoarding memorable objects. He cleaned up with this production, winning several prestigious accolades, including the Fringe First Award, the Carol Tambor Award, and the New York Times’ Critics Pick.
2. Watch a house become a home
Sobelle is about to carry out a DIY home renovation of epic proportions – he’s going to build a whole house within a few minutes. A suburban home is constructed onstage before your very eyes, complete with family portraits, endless piles of laundry, and a door with a faulty hinge. And it all happens as if by magic. The building site is co-opted into a dreamlike sequence that makes it seem more like the house materialises from nothing, even though you’re pretty sure you just watched it get put together.
3. A feeling we can all relate to
Ever felt like you’re being haunted in your own house? It’s a simple idea that drives HOME, but a powerful one. You’ll never know what happened to make your kitchen door squeak when it shuts, or where that scuff in the corner of the bedroom came from. They came with the house, appearing when its old inhabitants lived there, who also believed that their home belonged to them in spite of the secrets it holds...
Whether you’re renting a flat or just bought a new house, you’ll know that uncanny feeling of finding some mark left by a previous resident and being reminded that your house is not yours alone.
4. There’s no place like home
Who knew that Dorothy would inspire a philosophical debate on her journey back from the Emerald City? “Home is not a place,” says Sobelle. “It’s something else … so indeed, there IS no place like home!”
Sobelle's production explodes our notions of home by asking what it takes to belong somewhere, who gets to have a home, and what happens to it when we move on. When he first conceived the show, he imagined watching a house falling apart on stage. “And then I thought maybe it’s more interesting,” he says, “considering where we are in our national conversation, to think about building a house, building a community, building a party”.
5. You’re invited to the party
Sobelle has built the house, and now you get to step inside. HOME has seven cast members, but by the end of the show there will be many more guests onstage. This is a cosy immersive performance that asks you to join the housewarming, raise a glass, and become one of the generations of residents wandering through the rooms all at the same time. HOME collapses boundaries around time, space, the wall between audience and actor – all co-exist in one house simultaneously. “The main goal is that you enter the house of the theatre, and you leave it feeling like you’re home,” says Sobelle.
HOME is part of the International Festival this summer, performed in King's Theatre on 22-26 August.