Misunderstandings and mutual suspicion between the emerging American nation and old Europe is a constant theme in the novels of Henry James.
But in Daisy Miller (1878) it's the Americans abroad who are themselves shocked at the carefree behaviour, careless of social convention, of their teenage compatriot Daisy Miller.
In Switzerland and Rome the beguiling but doomed Daisy becomes an object of strangely detached fascination for the young emigre journalist Frerick Winterbourne and increasingly of scandal among such society figures as the daunting Mrs Walker.
As she strolls about unchaperoned with the dashing young tenor Giovanelli (played here, coincidentally, by Craig Giovanelli), Daisy simply can't see what the fuss is about. And, of course, audiences for this stage adaptation by Dawn Keeler may find it equally difficult to see the fuss in what is really a very slight story with a contrived tragic perspective tacked on to it.
Directed by Christopher Morahan and with a cast including Jean Boht, Sandra Dickinson and Shirley Anne Field, plus music by Ilona Sekacz, it has had some substance imposed on it. But it is a desperately static, literary affair with little true dramatic life, its feeling of uneasiness accentuated by Christopher Woods' unbeguiling metallic set.
What goes some way to redeem it is the performance of two former soap actors - Scarlett Johnson, once of Eastenders, and one time Neighbour Richard Grieve - as the central couple.
I found Johnson's self-composed slip of a girl, actually from Schenectedy but looking as though she might have stepped out of an Impressionist painting with her white dress and parasol, completely persuasive.
It's a performance of impressively natural charm, and Grieve is also rather good in bringing out the ambivalence - lover or coldfish writer collecting material? - of Winterbourne.
The other performances add less value, apart from Shirley Anne Field, on in the second half only, who has the measure of the somewhat scary Mrs Walker, guardian of American social standards in Rome. Running time: Two hours, 15 minutes. Until Saturday.