Lou Ramsden’s latest stage offering throws us hurtling into the Cave family world. A family whose aggression towards each other is only paralleled by the dogs they fight. They behave like caged animals in this gritty spiral of circumstance and stupidity, which leads to an inevitable breaking point.

The tension that builds up through the course of the play is credit indeed to the cast and Tim Roseman’s directing. Jessie Cave in particular has some moving moments as Liv, playing the role with commendable honesty and skill. However, the play fails to break away from the tight world it creates to truly resonate.

The characters sometimes appear underdeveloped, through no fault to the actors, allowing the feeling of formula to creep in. Therefore, the powerful subtext that there is a beast within the heart of humanity doesn’t always feel convincing.

The climax comes like a flurry of fireworks that we see launched but they just don’t create a big enough bang. Ramsden hits upon something in Breed. It is a strong offering by a clearly talented young writer. Ultimately though, Breed’s bark remains worse than its bite.

- Sarah Blissett