Ingredient X – TNT theatre review

What’s worse – sitting with your eyes glued to The X-Factor or playing computer games, drinking yourself legless or consistently choosing partners with their own drug problems?

Nick Grosso’s repetitive new play looks at four individuals who are all victims of addiction and seems to come to the conclusion that, in one form or other, we’re almost all guilty of indulging in compulsive behaviour of a potentially destructive nature.

He brings together an unlikely quartet – co-dependent Katie and her recovering drug addict husband Frank (her first spouse was a junkie rock star), mother of four Deanne whose kids each have a different father, and vitriolic single parent Rosanna who split from her druggie ex years ago and still can’t find a kind word to say about him.

What was intended to be a relaxing night in watching telly turns increasingly unpleasant as mouthy Rosanna tries to undermine the fragile security of her hosts’ relationship and, virtually singlehanded, Deanne drinks the rum bottle dry.

There’s too much talk about unseen characters (all with their own damaging obsessions, of course) and, no matter how tolerant she may be, it’s hard to understand why Indira Varma’s Katie, with her “Love is a doing word” philosophy would choose to spend Saturday night on the sofa with either of the other two women. They may be neighbours, but their toxic influence is unlikely to help keep Frank on the straight and narrow or (after the novelty of Lesley Sharp’s peculiarly accented Rosanna and Lisa Palfrey’s guzzling Deanne has worn off)  hold an audience’s interest.  


Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS
Tube: Sloane Square
020 7565 5000
Until 19th June

Review: Louise Kingsley