Written during the lockdown, this is zeitgeist a go-go as it takes just about every topical issue including climate change, Brexit, the generation gap, racism and Covid and stuffs them into a scenario involving a birthday celebration for recently knighted pediatrician Neil (Vincent Franklin).
As two young catering assistants lay out the silverware and plates in the fustian confines of a minor public school, family members drift in and out to reveal the fractures in their relationships.
Val (Eva Pope) is the wife trying to reconcile her elevated position with her Lancastrian roots, gay son Hugo (Patrick Walshe McBride) is a waspish Tory think tank wonk, and bolshy daughter Sarah (Grace Hogg-Robinson) has rejected her father’s values to become a disciple of Greta Thunberg.
There is a tenuous plot involving catering manager Florence (Amanda Bright) who was imprisoned as a result of Neil’s professional evidence at her trial in a “shaken baby” case.
Dramatically inert, the dialogue is a litany of platitudes and clichés as Eyre can find nothing new to say and no new way of saying it.
The Snail House is playing now at Hampstead Theatre until October 15.