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We’re back in the kitchen again for the second full length production in the Bush’s new space – but this time, in Nancy Harris’s sometimes tense, sometimes funny new play, the family is affluent and middle class.

Whilst everything is sparklingly pristine, however, unconditional affection is in short supply.

Previously a high-flying lawyer, heavily pregnant Hazel is now trying to make a go of selling Sicilian olive oil (the house is littered with the stuff) so that she can stay home and look after her 8 year old son Daniel.

Meanwhile husband Richard is away much of the time – volunteering his plastic surgery skills in disaster zones overseas when he isn’t catering for the demands of his well-heeled London clientele.

On the surface, everything is perfect.But as Annie, the new nanny from rural Sligo soon realises, this is a deeply unhappy household, with Hazel at her wits end trying to cope with a sullen child and Richard’s lengthy absences.

Charlotte Gwinner’s disconcerting production lays bare the tensions of a modern marriage in which only one of the partners (Mark Bazeley’s hypocritical Richard) is still able to do just what he wants, even if it’s at the expense of the psychological well-being of their troubled son (Jude Willoughby, perfect, shares the role).

Denise Gough brings a practical sympathy to the role of the nanny (who isn’t quite as straightforward or well-intentioned as she makes out) and, as Hazel, Kate Fleetwood charts, superbly, the frustrations of a perfectionist who isn’t cut out for domesticity and has lost control of her life.

Bush Theatre, Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ
020 8743 5050
Tube: Shepherds Bush tube
Until February 11
£15-£20
bushtheatre.co.uk


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