Spilling some dark secrets

Full marks to SUDS for showcasing new talent.

Chloe West’s second play, first seen at the Manchester Royal Exchange in 2012, is, by and large, a well-observed piece and often painfully funny - but the theme is all too familiar. Another family get-together that’s obviously going to end in tears (or worse) before bedtime, a holiday cottage setting, some serious drinking and spilling of dark secrets.

Still there are sterling performances. Jasmine Warwick is unnervingly convincing as the fluttery, neurotic wife, and David Walker is very good, too, as her controlling husband. Their “chalk and cheese” children - the loser son, the successful daughter - are nicely played by Lesley Cottingham and Dave Herbert.

Some of the most telling scenes are those between the daughter and her working-class childhood pal, now - of course - a hairdresser, vividly characterised by Julia Bisby. Their backstory is actually far more intriguing than the other revelations. It’s all most ably directed by Mick Connell and Ray Globe, and the holiday cottage set is spot-on. Oh, and a gatekeeper is a moth.

Marion Haywood