With the audience fanning themselves furiously with the programmes as the temperature in the King’s Head theatre shot up well into the 30s, Bubba and Luvvie began with a film of rough waves crashing down and swirling around. A park bench and a bin were the only other items on the small stage. These simple but effective props transported the audience from the summer heat in Islington to a wintery day on a high cliff overlooking the sea.

This two-hander romantic whodunnit is about Bubba, a former policeman, played by Gerard McDermott who is standing trial for murder in the high court the next day. The only thing in the way of his freedom is Luvvie, a prostitute, played by Mia Soteriou, who is the sole witness. The crux of the problem for Bubba is the peron he killed was Luvvie's brother.

The two characters meet by the park bench, at first they appear as strangers. She is disguised in an ill-fitting blond wig and wearing dark glasses. Her aim is to catch him confessing to the murder, but Bubba sees through her. Can Bubba persuade Luvvie not to testify against him? Can she save him from prison where he will be beaten up by the inmates, many of whom he put into jail? And then, as the story unfolds, we realise they have had a relationship in the past.

The play is beautifully written with wonderful imagery by Angus Strachan. It is an emotional tug of war between Bubba and Luvvie, with their feelings, their past, their upbringing, their values all coming into an emotional mix. They have just that day, by the bench, on the cliff to work out their relationship and life together.

Even with the heat in the auditorium, Gerard and Mia kept the audience transfixed on the problems the two characters presented to us.

King's Head, Islington until August 8

Lindi Bilgorri