The only problem is that the characters themselves are less than compelling, and by the time we have to listen to the interminable paragraphs of recollection from a retired policeman, less than witheringly well played by Patrick Romer, one’s dedication to the cause starts wavering as the one hundred minute mark approaches.
A married couple are separated: Michael (Oliver Dimsdale) is a documentary film maker piecing together police recordings of twenty years ago in Britain, while his wife Kate (Katy Stephens) is stranded in Moscow as a sponsorship agent hopelessly side-tracked by her affair with a charismatic Russian (Ferdy Roberts).
Meanwhile, a snooping sound engineer (Jonjo O’Neill) is keeping a microphone on the domestic routines of his neighbour, and Irina in Russia is searching for a missing friend. Mariah Gale doubles brilliantly as the Hounslow hermit and the Muscovite loyalist.
In one striking scene, Michael stalks his prey in a café in Lewisham while Kate deals with a dodgy nightclub owner (Richard Katz) in Moscow; the same waitress (Christine Entwistle]) serves both parties, slightly adjusting her posture and demeanour from one side of the stage to the other.
The Filter style of visible technology, superb and slightly sci-fi design by Jon Bausor – a small forest of pop-up tubes are eventually topped with practical light bulbs – and aggressively mood-setting lighting by Jon Clark, all create an unusual ambience of uncertainty and informality. The whole show, in fact, becomes a metaphor for the noise filling Kate’s head, and Katy Stephens does very well to bear this burden with such grace and good spirit from start to finish.