The Rondo Theatre prides itself on their support of new work for the theatre, with umpteen world premieres and Edinburgh previews forming a regular feature in their programming.

The Gift, by Ross Dunsmore is no exception. Ross is the winner of The Rondo Theatre’s 2014 “Quick and Dirty” playwriting competition held this past spring and what a winning script it is.

This funny, moving and intensely truthful script left the small-but-perfectly-formed audience with glistening eyes and resounding applause at the end of the hour-long performance. In addition to being a work of immense quality, from script to direction to performances, this piece draws attention to the much overlooked issue of post-natal-depression with a much balanced humor and a delicate lightness of touch.

Jazz Hazelwood, The Rondo Theatre’s Intern Director, shows her talent and skill by approaching her direction delicately balanced between a sharp sense of wit and pathos.

Subtle and nuanced performances by Dan Gaisford (Dan) and Laura Fautley (Nicole) never feel maudlin, melodramatic or ‘showy’. And each is incredibly believable in their portrayal of new parents and the ups and downs that accompanies this ‘gift’.

The Gift does not boast a shiny clever set or pristine costumes and props, but this production show plainly how those things do not a 5-star show make.

I cannot recommend this production enough; I only wish there had been more people in the audience to see it.

The Gift runs until Saturday June 28th at The Rondo Theatre. Tickets are £12 full / £10 concessions and can be booked through the Bath Box Office, either online at www.bathboxoffice.org.uk/whatson or over the phone, 01225 463362.

***** (5-Stars)

Sarah DeFazio