Park Avenue Cat

Billed as “a slinky, sexy new comedy to make you purr”, this short attempt at a rom-com from Los Angeles based Frank Strausser is more likely to make you stretch, yawn and long to slink away in search of tastier morsels.

Set in the offices of $200 an hour psychotherapist Nancy (a brisk Tessa Peake-Jones), it begins conventionally enough with 41 year old former model-turned-art-dealer Lily arriving for a couples therapy session – without her other half, Philip.

She says she wants to rescue her relationship, but when her idle, super-rich old flame Dorian turns up instead, she can’t resist the temptation of his luxurious lifestyle.

A well-cast Josefina Gabrielle does a decent job of conveying Lily’s insecurities and uncertainties, but Daniel Weyman and Gray O’Brien overact in an unsuccessful attempt to bring one-dimensional, unsympathetic characters to life.

Awkwardly staged, neither particularly funny nor sufficiently insightful, this has all the hallmarks of a potentially promising but fatally underdeveloped idea.

A programme note says that Strausser is developing it as a feature film – he’s got a hell of a lot of work to do.

Arts Theatre, Great Newport Street, WC2H 7JB
020 7907 7092
Tube: Leicester Square
Until August 20

– Louise Kingsley