Bizarre play about Sexual Assault

“I’ve tried medication, water, exercise, meditation, reading, routine, bathing, lavender, vitamins, minerals, no screens, more screens, white noise, sage, praying, counting sheep, hugging sheep, Valium, hypnosis, I’ve literally tried everything.”


Charlotte McCurry as Faye. (Photo: Ciaran Bagnall)

So how do you recover from trauma?  After an evening when she was drunk Faye (Charlotte McCurry) she came home to find an intruder had broken into her home, who hit her and she lost consciousness. 

She woke up to find a man in a rubber duck mask standing over her with his penis out and holding her red lacy knickers. She has no other memory as to what happened.  She has a therapist (the voice of Rory Nolan) who is working through the issues with her but she has chronic insomnia and hasn’t slept for 20 nights.  She only eats Rice Crispies.  You name it, she has tried it.  (See quote above)

Faye asks her brother Naoise (Thomas Finnegan) for help.  Her idea is to recreate the night of the break in in a completely safe way with her brother playing the part of Duck Man.  The wardrobe, they both remember playing in as children, will serve for Duck Man’s concealment and for any props needed. All we can see inside the wardrobe is a strip of six extra bright lights. Naoise is extremely reluctant but Faye persuades him to take part.

Charlotte McCurry plays Faye as more excitable and hyper than depressed, often stary eyed with intensity.  Thomas Finnegan’s Naoise is pre-occupied with troubles of his own which he eventually will convey to Faye which explode like a firework on the role play exposure therapy. There are moments of comedy, unexpected in a play about the insecurity of doubt as to whether a sexual assault took place, where it seems better to know rather than to be left with a question mark. 

There is music from Benny Goodman and some perfectly executed Swing dance which is joyous.  There are differing recollections of a childhood experience for the siblings and we wonder whether some of the play is about the reliability of memory.  One thing we can be sure of is that Faye’s repeated insistence that she is fine now, is not the case.

A conundrum of a play.

Cast in Lie Low. (Photo: Ciaran Bagnall)

Production Notes

Lie Low

Written by Clara Elizabeth Smyth

Directed by Oisín Kearney



Charlotte McCurry

Thomas Finnegan 

Rory Nolan (voice only)


Director: Oisín Kearney

Set and Lighting Designer:  Ciaran Bagnall

Sound Designer: Ciaran Bagnall

Movement Director: Philip Rafferty

Fight Director: Paula O’Reilly


Running Time: One hour 10 minutes without an interval

Booking to 8th June 2024


Jerwood Theatre Upstairs

Royal Court Theatre

Sloane Square

London SW1W 4AS

Phone: 020 7565 5000


Tube: Sloane Square


by Lizzie Loveridge

at the Royal Court

on 31st May  2024