Suppose a convicted sex offender moves into your neighbourhood.
It's an unpleasant issue to confront, and, as with most prickly subjects, it's fodder for fringe theatre.
Should the community be notified? Should paedophiles be able to take up residence next to schools or parks? Should posters of the perpetrators be distributed to children?
Questions one would normally like to avoid, yet questions central to Anthony Weigh's searching new play at The Bush Theatre.
Entitled 2,000 Feet, it scrutinises the solutions Megan's Law has offered Americans, citing an Iowa state-specific interpretation, which, as well as disclosing identity, sets 2,000 feet as the minimum distance which sex-offenders must live from places where children congregate.
The curtain raises to reveal the Chicago Art Institute, where a borderline-adolescent boy and his nervous, older friend (Ian Hart) uncomfortably discuss American Gothic, a 1930 painting by Grant Wood set in Eldon, Iowa.
Hart's crime remains unspecified, but an eviction order entrusted to the deputy sheriff makes it clear in the following scene that Hart's friendly nature may be spiked with malice.
The sweet touch to the bitterness of this tale comes in the form of Shakespeare in Love heart-throb Joseph Fiennes (left). No such luck, however, for those expecting a similar charm and chisel.
Fiennes has piled on the pounds and dumbed down his irrepressibly attractive eyes to take the shape of the doughnut-guzzling deputy, ineptly ruling over Eldon, the bible-belt town framed in the painting.
What to do with someone not allowed within 2,000 feet of schools, parks, and the rapidly expanding network of day-care centres has now become the deputy's dilemma.
The play pivots on his character, and Fiennes lives up to expectation with a performance worthy of his silver screen reputation.
His vulnerable figure, overburdened with responsibility, clearly conveys the perspectives of both the criminals and the community which divide his introspection.
The solution is beyond either his anger or his empathy, yet it is his compassion which is the town's moral saving grace in face of a fear-driven, witch-hunt mentality.
The drama never quite reaches fever-pitch, and Weigh labours the comparison between the deputy and the Pied Piper (both elected by their townsfolk to drive out the rats), but it hardly matters. The sensitive dramatisation of such volatile content is rare in an art world still dripping with sensationalism.
And with solutions to such concerns far from settled - the UK is continually evaluating the efficiency of Megan's Law in its own attempt to combat sexual predators - this solidly acted, thought-provoking play is certain to leave a lasting impression.
Rehabilitating sex-offenders is a problem which won't go away, but it can, at the very least, be closely considered within the confines of the theatre.
2,000 Feet, by Anthony Weigh, is at The Bush Theatre, Shepherd's Bush, until July 19. Mon-Sat 8pm, Sat mat 3pm. Call 020 7610 4224. See www.bushtheatre.co.uk