The Beach House by Jo Harper. Park 90, 19 Clifton Terrace, London N4 to 11 March 2023. 3***. William Russell

Kate, who has just give birth to a baby daughter, and her song-writer partner Liv, who is going through a creative crisis, have set up home in a dilapidated seaside house. Life seems reasonably happy. Liv keeps house, Kate earns the money, and then Kate’s sister Jenny, a dancer who performs in the circus, comes to call. Like Liv she is having a crisis, the pair are attracted to one another, one things leads to the other and various crises ensue. The play, getting its premiere, was short listed for the Liverpool Hope Writing Prize,is arguably not one for ageing critics of the opposite sex. The performances by the cast of three are well thought out but just why one was attracted to the other was hard to grasp. There really has to be some sort of sexual charge and there was none. Also if one opts to stage something in the round then director Bethany Pitts needs to get her players to deliver their lines so that all sides of the square or circle, in this case a square, can make out what is being said. There was rather too much gabbling of lines for comfort. There is quite a lot of music which may be the songs that Liv is composing but again added little to one’s understanding of the dilemmas as sister threatened to come between sister – Jenny, who has a partner, also gets pregnant, while Kate, who has worked it all out, gets a new job overseas and intends to take her daughter with her – so who ends up where? The audience seemed to care. There is a handsome set – a polished floor in the middle of which stands a magnificent wooden trunk which serves various uses – and it is blessedly short.

Gemma Barnett: jenny.

Kathryn Bond: Kate.

Gemma Lawrence: Liv.

Director: Bethany Pitts.

Designer: Cara Evans.

Lighting Designer: Laura Howard.

Sound Designer & Composer: Holly Khan.

Initmacy Coordinator: Lou Kempton.

Dramaturg: Yael Shavit.

Production Photographs: David Monteith-Hodge.

ReviewsGate Copyright Protection