Of all the cast, it is the gifted Susannah Fielding who comes closest to the right style of acting. She really is a tremendous performer, winning in her winsome style, with a voice as agile as her facial features and just as expressive. She keeps her Mrs Sullen to the naturalistic style Godwin has chosen, but you can feel, just below her gorgeous exterior, that within lies the right style, the right character, the right attitude, desperately wanting to break out of the confines of naturalism and take shape in proper Restoration Comedy mode.
At just over 90 minutes, this is a theatrical spectacle and tapestry as ethereal and vital as it is strange and incomprehensible. Simon Stephens throws those elements such as the destruction of community, the isolation of individuals, the globalisation and sterilisation of culture, the power of money and capitalist dreams, the despair that comes from non-intervention, together with the characters and some of the music and plot points from Bizet’s Carmen, into a blender, creating a dystopian present-day landscape where pretty much anything can and does happen. The poetic nuances fly through the writing such that return visits to see the production again are almost compulsory.