Love is a catastrophe, says Michel to Alexei in the last act of Turgenev’s A Month In The Country, at the end of which you believe him.

On stage are thwarted, undeclared or unconsummated passions for married mothers, young tutors, innocent girls, family friends or servant girls: escape is only possible through mariage de convenance, or a train to Moscow. Happiness is not on offer. It’s a challenging play for young actors: plot as character develops as slowly as Turgenev’s own ‘lace from knots’, with only the merest of gestures for Natalya to demonstrate passive, Russian fatalism. But this allowed time for growing confidence – there was an early tendency to rush.

Sean McLevy directed young actors from the Academy of Creative Training and produced a most accomplished and satisfying performance: overall acting, stage movement, voice production and set management were superb. Sarah Cockburn had to become Frau, not Herr, Schaaf for her very funny joke, comic relief shared by the cracker jokes of the excellent Paolo Delogu. Claire Maria Tipper was beautifully bored but whilst Vera and Alexei were charmingly youthful, were Arkadi or Michel quite mature enough? Are men, ever?