The design and production team are the real stars of this revival of Tim Firth's comedy about four middle-managers stranded on a small island in the Lake District.

Literal realism, like those alleged Victorian Shakespeares with real bunnies hopping around the forest, has a dubious reputation in the theatre, but I have never really seen it attempted until now.

Taking full advantage of the Rep's vast stage, designer Simon Higlett has created a sizeable chunk of island, complete with trees that are real, rocks that aren't but look it, and surrounded by water deep enough for actors to get thoroughly soaked.

On top of this, the whole stage is wreathed in autumnal mist, while Mark Jonathan's lighting design delivers some of those fast-moving, bleak November skies. It's a real tour de force, and the characters must surely be colder than the actors suggest.

At first I thought it might resemble a live episode of I'm a Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here, particularly with a well-known TV face, Les Dennis, among the cast.

But have no fear. Firth's ten year-old play (first staged in Scarborough by Alan Ayckbourn, who knows all about flooded stages) may not be the greatest comedy ever written, but it's entertaining enough.

Dennis plays Neville, the leader of a group of Salford businessmen on a weekend team- building trip who gets his party marooned through an over-ingenious interpretation of the directions.

His self-confidence never recovers, and the dominant personality is the cynical Gordon (John Hodgkinson in a show- stealing performance).

Then there's buttoned-up Alex, who has come equipped for every eventuality except hunger. Doubts about the security of his home life begin to grow as his wife mysteriously fails to pick up the call to their answer phone made from his fading mobile.

Finally there's Roy, a born-again Christian who has to be treated with kid gloves if a repetition of the breakdown that prompted his conversion is going to be avoided.

It's a little ironic that the play eventually rejects Gordon's empty cynicism, having relied on his sarcasm as the main driver for its comedy.

But, directed by Paul Raffield, himself a performer in the original West End production, it is the staging that transforms this from just another show into a theatrical event.

* Running time: Two hours, 40 minutes. Until May 7.

Terry Grimley