The Grand’s summer drama season ends with this two-handed psychological thriller by Richard Stockwell.
It begins with Rick arriving home with Jane, a woman he has just met at a supermarket check-out, where he has paid her bill after she has found her purse is missing. She has returned the favour by giving him a lift home.
But in fact, little in this opening premise turns out to be what it seems. For instance, is this impressive suburban mansion – sumptuous sets seem to be a hallmark of Ian Dickens Productions – even Rick’s?
That’s about it for giving away the plot. As the secretive Rick and the ambivalent Jane – who is sending out distinctly mixed messages as to her openness to a possible sexual encounter – start to probe away at each other, Stockwell peels away onion layers of possibility, with the situation between the two ending up in very different territory from their initial flirtation. You might put two and two together to make certain connections, but you would certainly be hard-pressed to see where it’s all leading.
The only real “action” comes at the end, but Stockwell writes smart enough dialogue to keep you intrigued and to maintain the tension, even though revelations and events require an increasing suspension of disbelief.
It’s basically pretty well acted, too, by Huw Higginson and Hannah Waterman, who find a fair amount of substance in these characters, although a few rough edges were evident on opening night.
Overall, it’s quite a good quality piece of hokum, making for a diverting evening in damp Wolverhampton. And it was still light when we left the theatre.
* Running time: One hour, 45 minutes. Until Saturday.