Seductive and sad, it revulsed, chilled and gripped.
The Donmar has set about making this production of Conor McPherson's monologue St Nicholas an exclusive, intimate and atmospheric experience.
Performed by Brendan Coyle at the theatre's rehearsal space in Dryden Street, the temptation must have been to squeeze in as many seats as possible.
Seats feel part of the set
However, with only 50-odd tickets per performance, there is a generous amount of space which makes the seats feel part of the set.
The space is dressed to look like a faded drawing room or study with an old-fashioned desk, manual typewriter and a leather, swivel chair; the audience is drawn around in a sweeping arc as if invited in for a social gathering or recital.
The carpet is threadbare and dotted with water-filled buckets. Newspaper covers the windows, the lighting is dim; later you'll feel like you were part of a seance, watching Coyle conjure up dark demons.
Courting a response
He starts by drawing a kind of barrier, throwing handfuls of dried rice at the feet of those on the front row - his look as he meets your eye courts a response.