It’s a “day seats only” policy for every performance so you’ll have to be quick off the mark to grab a ticket for Jez Butterworth’s follow up to his smash hit Jerusalem which stars Dominic West and frustratingly, but atmospherically, is ensconced in the smaller upstairs space.
It proves the perfect setting for this low key, often poetic and far more intimate chamber piece in which the characters are no less fascinating, the elusive story that unfolds no less gripping.
In an isolated wood cabin by the river (meticulously designed by Ultz) an unnamed Man persuades his reluctant new girlfriend (also unnamed) to go fishing with him on a pitch-black moonless night when the wild sea trout are running.
He says he loves her, but all is not as it seems and the past keeps resurfacing in unexpected ways.
It would be criminal to give any more away – the truth of this enigmatic, lovingly written production (directed by Ian Rickson) is as slippery as the fish that elude his lure, as evasive as the commitment he craves.
Beautifully acted – by West (rugged and bearded in check fisherman’s shirt, he hints at underlying emotional insecurity but guts a captured trout with practiced ease) and by down-to-earth Miranda Raison and teasing, candlelit Laura Donnelly as the women he courts – this is a short, tantalising treat.
Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS
Tube | Sloane Square
Until 17th November
£20, Mondays £10