Bryony Lavery’s disquieting 1998 drama begins as a series of monologues which gradually interlock and develop into dialogues over two decades as creepy, unrepentant Ralph is interviewed by Icelandic-American psychologist Agnetha (Nina Sosanya),  and bereaved mother Nancy decides to meet the man who snatched her younger daughter away for his own gratification.

Agnetha maintains that his brain has been damaged by the events of his own childhood, his complete lack of moral awareness – or of remorse for what he has repeatedly done (Rhona wasn’t his only victim)-  a product of his own upbringing rather than of inherent evil. It’s a hard view to stomach when faced with a man who believes that killing young girls should be legal. Suranne Jones is painfully touching as the mother who is finally forced to admit that her daughter will never be coming home again and has, somehow, to find a way of carrying on. And Jason Watkins is horribly disconcerting as the serially predatory Ralph in what is very much a small scale piece, expanded here (in Jonathan Munby’s atmospheric production) with frosty, bleak projections.

Theatre Royal Haymarket

Haymarket, SW1Y 4HT

Until 5th May 2018 

£10.00- £67.50 + premium seats