Convincing Conceptional Comedy!

“Parenting is shit … It’s a tsunami of guilt and anxiety and exhaustion.. “


Pearl Chanda as Zoe and Bally Gill as Kash. (Photo: Richard Lakos)

Richard Molloy’s play is a delightful comedy with serious sub text.  The Harmony Test is based on two couples at different stages of their relationship.  Kash (Bally Gill) and Zoe (Pearl Chanda) are trying to conceive a child and have been trying for almost a year.  Kash is brimful with supplements and Zoe is working on their fertility plan.  Note: it is a fertility plan not a timetable, but where does it say on the fertility plan how many times and when Kash must perform on the crucial days? 

Zoe is efficient and business like; Kash is embarrassed about having to wear boxer shorts instead of Y fronts and I can’t even begin to describe what needs to done with the Bird’s Eye Frozen peas.  Their friends Naomi (Jemima Rooper) and Charlie (Milo Twomey) come round to dinner and squabble non stop.  Naomi and Charlie are coping with a different milestone: an empty nest after their daughter Jada (whom we never see) has left home to go to university. 

Pearl Chanda as Zoe and Jemima Rooper as Naomi. (Photo: Richard Lakos)

This scene has Jemima Rooper as Naomi in full flight, articulate as hell in delivering Charlie’s shortcomings, as if out of a submachine gun. Charlie wants Naomi to develop new interests like joining a gym.  The Harmony Test is extremely well written, clever wit with nice character development so that we understand who they are and what they need.

While the solutions to the fertility issue get more bizarre and hilarious for Kash and Zoe, Naomi decides she will leave Charlie and spends a night in a hotel before arriving on Zoe’s doorstep where she is offered a bedroom.  She has tried the gym and describes it to Zoe as a “kind of weird sex dungeon”.  Zoe has met someone in the gym and when Rocco (Sandro Rosta) walks in both men and women in the audience are transfixed!  This Adonis with ripped torso and muscular arms showing his veins is drop dead gorgeous and our eyes are out on stalks. 

Sandro Rosta as Rocco and Jemima Rooper as Naomi in The Harmony Test_credit Richard Lakos

Now Kash’s issues are to the fore as the noises of excellent bonking come from their spare bedroom and this cannot help but make him feel less than adequate when the fertility plan is indicating he and Zoe need to get at it. 

Then we have good news that Zoe is pregnant but within days there is another issue.  I cannot give any more of the plot away but the play turns serious and shattering.  There is a gorgeous scene when Kash and Charlie have a heavy drinking session and Rocco arrives in the mix with Charlie’s realisation as to who Rocco actually is!

Bally Gill as Kash and Milo Twomey as Charlie (Photo: Richard Lakos)

I really loved this play.  Alice Hamilton directs perfectly in Hampstead’s downstairs space. Each scene is an ideal length with loud music and temporary darkness to notify the change.  Sarah Beaton’s large fitted kitchen with odd chairs at the table and two doors to leave and enter by, works very well.  All the performances are well rounded and believable.

The two serious issues of not being able to have a baby and where does your relationship go when the children are grown and flown are meaningful but the word play comedy is the best. 

Miss this highly recommended play and you’ll live to regret it!  

Bally Gill as Kash and Pearl Chanda as Zoe. (Photo: Richard Lakos)

Production Notes

The Harmony Test

Written by Richard Molloy

Directed by Alice Hamilton



Paula Chanda

Bally Gill

Jemima Rooper

Milo Twomey

Sandro Rosta



Director:  Alice Hamilton

Designer:  Sarah Beaton

Lighting Designer:  Jamie Platt

Sound Designer:   Harry Blake

Fight Director: Bret Yount


Running Time: One hours 40 minutes without an interval

Booking to 22nd June 2024


Hampstead Theatre 

Eton Avenue

Swiss Cottage

London NW3 3EU

Phone: 020 7722 9301


Tube: Swiss Cottage


by Lizzie Loveridge at

Hampstead Theatre Downstairs

on 23rd May 2024