A slice of the 1950s opens the Bolton Little Theatre season with Laura Wade’s hugely acclaimed ‘Home, I’m Darling’.

“The title comes from reversing the clichéd phrase ‘Darling, I’m home!’” says director Peter Scofield, “That has become synonymous with the image of a 1950s husband returning after a day at the office to a dutiful wife and a blissfully happy domestic set-up. So what Laura Wade has cleverly done is use that opening situation to question whether the image of domestic bliss we see presented to us from that era was really everything it appeared to be on the surface”.

The experienced cast include Abbie Jones as ‘Judy’ living her perfect 1950s housewife life, and Sue Mallett as ‘Fran’ her best friend who has an entirely more pragmatic outlook.

“It’s been fascinating wearing the clothes and getting used to props from a different time,” says Abbie, “and the set looks incredible, the way they’ve recreated a 1950s house on stage.”

“It looks great,” says Sue, “but I think I prefer living now than the 1950s.”

Newcomer Michael Bowers plays ‘Johnny’, Judy’s husband who goes off the work each day as an estate agent and comes home to his dutiful wife each evening – but are things quite as rosy as they first appear?

BLT stalwart June Grice plays Judys mother ‘Sylvia’.

“Sylvia is fully aware from her own experiences that simply being a perfect housewife isn’t enough to lead a fulfilling life. She’s a woman who’s seen a bit in her time and fought for what she believes in. She’s the one who put the ‘staunch’ into feminist.” says June.

Add ‘Marcus’, Fran’s husband – and Judy’s dance partner – played by Adam Green, and ‘Alex’, Johnny’s boss, played by Rebecca Carney and the story starts to hot up… “Marcus is a bit too ‘hands-on’ really,” says Adam. “He’s a bit too fond of the Jive – or perhaps of the person he’s jiving with…”

“It’s an excellent play,” says Peter, “and without giving too much away the plot examines how being a domestic goddess isn’t as straightforward as it often seems. I’m not surprised it was so successful in the West End.”

In fact it won an Olivier Award for best new comedy of 2018. “I saw it at the Octagon a little later and felt sure it was something our audiences would enjoy.”

‘Home I’m Darling’ runs from Monday 11th to Saturday 16th of September 2023 at 7:30 pm (with a BSL performance on Weds 13th) at Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover Street, Bolton BL1 4TG. For tickets visit www.boltonlittletheatre.co.uk or ring 01204 524469.