You hear some funny things in cafes. In Kemp Town’s Metrodeco on Sunday night, two women – one posh, one not so much – were apparently discussing the incarceration of an errant mutual ex, in a cage, in a flat in Hove.

Shortlisted for New Writing South’s Best Play Award, Mark Hewitt’s two-and-a-bit-hander (there’s a waitress) listens in on the two ladies at lunch and finds that their familiar chit chat soon turns down some very dark alleys indeed. They have both been jilted by the same James, as has a Ukranian massage therapist, not to mention James’s wife. Together, the women have formed a rather sinister little club.

Hewitt’s dialogue breezes along wittily and Jo Bowis gave expansive ease as the upmarket Bridget, whose occasional spiteful barbs are the stuff of female competition.

Kathryn McGarr’s rather more downtrodden Shelley showed all the latent chaos of a woman who knows she’s making a big mistake.

This was a macabre little comedy of manners but one that never quite plunged the knife. Was the revenge a fantasy? Or could there be a man hidden in Hove wearing nothing but a chain around his neck and wielding a feather duster?