For fans of King Lear the RSC's new production The Cordelia Dream will seem familiar. The challenging play looks at the complex relationships between fathers and daughters and takes inspiration from Shakespeare's iconic work.

The story centres on the unnamed woman and man, who at first seem to have a weight of sexual tension hanging over them, but slowly their relationship is unravelled to reveal their family ties.

Both characters are composers, however the daughter has had more success than her father, which has driven a wedge between the two. The play centres on their relationship as the woman confronts her elderly father in an attempt to reconcile with him before he dies.

Like Cordelia in Shakespeare's work the woman is overlooked by her father and resented for her success and honesty.

The start of the play is puzzling and it is not until the second act that the father and daughter conflict becomes clear. David Hargreaves with his wild hair and booming voice dominates the stage as the man, whenever he is talking it is difficult to tear your eyes away from his performance.

However Michelle Gomez, who known for her work in The Green Wing, manages to bring real emotion to the character of the woman.

When she asks: "Have you listened to a word I have said?", her cry is so fraught with anguish its easy to see this scene playing out in family homes. She adds realism to the play and is subtle yet powerful in her delivery.

Michelle Gomez has a battle to draw attention away from David Hargreaves and at times she almost succeeds.

However it is difficult to warm to either character, both seem selfish and they both deserve the comeuppance that is served to them at the end.

Marina Carr's writing is sharp and at times extremely witty, but even after seeing the whole production it makes you wonder what happened to the man's wife and what event caused the characters to hate each other so intensely.

The minimalist set and the rustic setting of the Wilton's Music Hall is perfect for the play, as it does not distract from the moving acting.

At a time of year when pantomimes dominate the stage, this play is disturbing and thought-provoking. It makes you examine your own familial relationships in a harsher light.

The Cordelia Dream is at Wilton's Music Hall, in Graces Alley, London, until January 10. For more information visit