Life hasn’t turned out how this Liverpudlian woman intended. An unplanned teenage pregnancy, unexpected support from her Irish Catholic mother – and a precious little life snuffed out in a random incident when Mary, her 12 year old daughter, is caught in the crossfire of feuding brothers who never admitted what they had done.

Right from the start, there’s something not quite right about Sal’s confidential smile and there’s a gradual emotional unravelling as she plays with a box of matches, lighting one after another and discarding each one with a swift, angry, decisive movement as definitive as the bullet which killed her child as she made her way home from school.

Lia Williams (herself an actress of great subtlety) directs with intense sympathy as Sal, torn between incompatible desires for revenge and forgiveness, inhales the resulting smell of sulphur, isolated in her own private hell of grief in the bleak, barrenness of the empty cottage she now calls home. 
Tricycle, Kilburn High Road, NW6 7JR
Tube | Kilburn
Until 1st June
£14.00 – £22.00

Photo: Christian Smith