Be Home Soon

A chance meeting in an art gallery and a new flatmate moving in provide the simple framework for Be Home Soon, a beautifully crafted and sensitively performed debut play from By The Moon theatre company, made up of students and graduates from the University of Manchester.

A beautifully crafted and sensitively performed debut play

Raf (Arran Kemp) is a struggling would-be young artist, though for the sake of a potential career in the real world he is studying mathematics. As he gazes at various paintings he encounters fellow art-lover Mel (Evie Carricker). Writer Liliana Newsam-Smith’s dialogue captures that awkward moment when two people meet for the first time and are not sure where the conversation might lead. Their exploratory exchanges are nervous and tentative, self-conscious and embarrassed. The delicacy of this writing is sustained throughout and Newsam-Smith has the ability to create situations and awkward moments that often seem very familiar and with which it’s easy to identify, because we’ve all been there.

Nowhere is this more evident than when Kaya (Natalia Leaper) arrives. Leaper’s naturally pronounced North Yorkshire accent and gushing presence stands out in splendid contrast to Kemp’s soft Dorset tones. At times he seems mystified by her presence and she knows only too well that she has the habit of opening her mouth and putting her foot in it. The contrast creates some highly amusing moments especially given Leaper’s skilled timing and range of facial expressions.

Raf also has to deal with the increasingly challenging suggestions from Mel that will turn his life upside down. Again the contrasts work well; her energy and pushiness encountering his lethargy and reserve. Kemp sustains a hushed and fascinatingly understated performance as a shy, timid and insecure individual confronted my the more ebullient Mel, until about half-way through the play. Then, following a scene in which several glasses of wine are consumed we witness a transformation in Raf’s personality and suddenly Kemp applies his latent energy in one of those magical moments of theatrical metamorphosis that can leave you wondering where he pulled that from. In terms of character and actor this is a changed man and we see a whole new side to both as his relationship with Mel and the world is reshaped.

Realtionships build as much as the ingenious set. The two women never meet but rotate in scenes with Raf. Props used in one location become something else in the next in some quite remarkable transitions that emerge from the script but are manged by designer Emily Puddephatt. The sounds of Sofia Armella's compositions enhance the changing moods.

Tragedy brings another turning point in the story and by the end we have been taken on an emotional journey from the light-hearted and amusing to the serious and devastating; to an exploration of the haunting power of memories and the need to let go in order to face the future.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Richard Beck

Charing Cross Theatre


The Lion And Unicorn

The Old Queen's Head

The Bridge House Theatre

Mess Maker

Park Theatre London

Sorry We Didn't Die at Sea

The Gatehouse

The Lady With a Dog

The Bridge House Theatre

One Under Par


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Moving. Boxes everywhere. Memories locked beneath the tape. What will happen when the past gets unpacked? A powerful new drama that confronts our ideas of home, loss and the line we tread between holding on and letting go. Is home really a physical, tangible space, or, like everything else, blighted by transience? From galleries, to France, to drunk dancing around an empty kitchen, Be Home Soon follows three young characters grappling with who they are, seeking purpose and a deeper understanding of both themselves and one another.

Most Popular See More


From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets