Psychological thriller-cum-genre mixing semi-fairytale let down by a disappointing script
Farmhouse, the latest production from Edinburgh-based theatre company Siege Perilous, opens with Anthony, and his pregnant partner Claire, seeking help from a nearby farmhouse when their car breaks down in the country. After helping them patch up the car, lonely widower Lachlan persuades the couple to stay for dinner before making them an unusual offer. He will give them his farm and everything that comes with it, if he can be part of their unborn child's life.
What should be a dramatic thriller loses its bite about two-thirds of the way though. The script is riddled with clichés, both in the dialogue and the storyline, as Claire and Anthony debate whether to put their future in the hands of Lachlan. The dream/nightmare scene marks the turning point where the whole play becomes surreal and far-fetched, and continues to be so until the startling end.
The only saving grace comes in the performances from Clare Ross, Joe Johnson and Nick Cheales who succeed in salvaging Farmhouse to the point that it is at least enjoyable, if not quite credible.
Farmhouse runs at Malmaison (Leith), Edinburgh, until Wed 17 Oct.