THE PAST comes back to bite in Brenda Gottsche's entertaining new drama Sleeping Dogs.
Leo's debut crime novel is getting rave reviews, his wife Doctor Roz is a successful celebrity shrink and everything seems hunky dory until an old friend from Australia pops up to spoil the party.
It soon becomes clear Leo left behind a murky past in Oz to start a new life but, facing blackmail from his former acquaintance Andy, the question is how murky.
The revelation forces Leo and Roz to question how well they really know each other, while the audience are left guessing just what caused Leo to run all those years ago.
Meanwhile, their confused teenage son Leo has found God, much to his parents' consternation, and is seeking solace in Roz's closest friend and fellow therapist Anna.
Staged in the intimate underbelly of The Curtain's Up pub, in Barons Court, the breezy plot is always involving and leaves you wrong-footed on a number of occasions.
Gottsche's script raises some interesting questions about therapy and the possibility of transformation but it's flabby in places and frequently not as smart as it thinks.
The idea of a successful therapist finding her own life screwed up is hardly a new one and despite some competent performances, there's a lack of spark between Barbara Hatwell (Brookside's Anthea Dixon) as Roz and Gregory Cox as Leo.
Some of the Doctor Roz radio phone-ins, which punctuate the show, are mildly amusing but otherwise the humour largely fails to hit the mark.
However, Andrew Robb impresses as shifty blackmailer Andy, creating a growing sense of unease, and a surprisingly touching conclusion means this has more legs than your average shaggy dog story.
Sleeping Dogs is at Barons Court Theatre, in The Curtain's Up, Comeragh Road, Barons Court, until February 18 (Tues-Sat 7.30pm, Sat 2.30pm, Sun 6.30pm). Tickets, priced £12, are available from the box office on 020 8932 4747.