"Currently on a 37-date premiere tour of the UK and Ireland, this is a powerful new play written by Joanna Murray-Smith, one of Australia's foremost playwrights, and produced by London Classic Theatre. Set in a middle class English living room, a husband and wife await the promised return of their daughter, who mysteriously left home aged 16, seven years previously. Playing the married couple, and on stage for the entire duration, Jonathan Coote and Pauline Whitaker are utterly mesmeric. The script is deliciously ambiguous with unfinished sentences, and emotions are sometimes raw with loss, longing, and anger. When their visitor - surprisingly, not their expected daughter - arrives at nightfall, family love, loyalty, and secrets are painfully exposed and dissected. At over 90 minutes with no break, this play demands a lot from its actors and its audience. But isn't good theatre such a vibrant, intelligent alternative to the dreary dross of Saturday night television."
Brendan McClusker - Southern Daily Echo

"A man and a woman are waiting for their daughter to come home. She's been missing for seven years and they've just had a phone call from her. But the woman who turns up instead seems to know an awful lot about the family, and soon surfaces are stripped away to reveal inner darknesses. I could say that this intense, 90-minute psychological thriller has a lot of Pinter about it, which it has. Or I could say that An Inspector Calls is never very far away, which it isn't. Or that there are loud echoes of David Mamet, particularly Oleanna, which there are. Instead I shall say that Joanna Murray-Smith transforms all those influences into something that is wholly her own, thanks to her powerful control of language and superb skills of construction. Her play grips from start to finish and, if the ultimate betrayal is obvious from the start, that in no way lessens the ever-growing tension. It is in fact an Australian play but it transfers seamlessly to England in Michael Cabot's superbly paced production. He has also designed the set, which balances the stark and the comfortable in a way that perfectly reflects the play's theme. The acting is exemplary. Jonathan Coote as the husband is all rigidity and control, full of aggressive reasonableness. Pauline Whitaker as the wife seems composed of fluttery brittleness which gives way at the end when she explodes with lost emotions. Catherine Harvey alternates between sweetness and belligerence as Kate, the intruder, plays her verbal power games. All three handle the dialogue's complex rhythms with consummate skill. London Classic Theatre have a knack of finding modest, little-known plays that pack more emotions than many established classics. They've done it again here - more Joanna Murray-Smith as soon as possible please."
Victor Hallett - OnStage Scotland


Writer: Joanna Murray-Smith
Directed & Designed by Michael Cabot
Lighting by Peter Foster
Photography: Sheila Burnett

Jonathan Coote, Catherine Harvey, Pauline Whitaker.

Everyman Palace Cork, Central Theatre Chatham, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Brewhouse Theatre Taunton and Courtyard Theatre, Hereford.

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