If American intervention in Iraq has proved to be naive and inept, at least it can be seen as part of a long and undistinguished tradition.
Brian Stewart, a British writer and actor who played a supporting role in The Office, wrote this play seven years ago. It imagines a top-level, top-secret CIA meeting being held during the 1960 presidential campaign to review possible ways of either assassinating Fidel Castro or destabilising his regime in Cuba.
The meeting itself is a work of fiction, but all the ideas written on the flip-chart are claimed to be authentic. This may take some believing when they include exploding cigars and seashells (aimed at the scuba-diving Castro), complementary socks impregnated in poison, sending a small poisonous snake in the US mail, drugs designed to make Castro's beard drop out, faking the shooting down of an airliner full of American schoolkids and staging Christ's second coming in Cuba.
Premiered off-Broadway in September 2001, the play has had several airings in the US and is now having its first performances in Britain.
Given that it's basically four men talking around a table, it would work better in an intimate studio theatre, ideally as a latenight show with no interval. But it proves a reasonably entertaining surreal comedy here, with some good peformances.
I particularly enjoyed Michael Praed as the elegant dirty weapons boffin who on the surface appears the most rational of the senior participants but, to judge from his ideas, is evidently as mad as a hatter.
Edward Hardwicke is the avuncular pipe-smoking veteran presiding over this madhouse, Clive Mantle the trigger-happy redneck and Joe Shaw the young Harvard graduate who wonders what he's got himself into.
* Running time: Two hours. Until Saturday.