The Harmony Test

Reviewer's Rating

It’s normal to have imperfect characters in a story – it’s what makes it more realistic and even more likeable. However, this show has some of the most incompetent characters seen on stage.

The Harmony test, a play about two different relationships and their struggles, all taking place in the confines of a sitcom style set.

Zoe (Pearl Chanda) and Kash (Bally Gill) are trying for a baby and use some questionable methods to do so, including chewing ‘Jesus’s forskin’. Zoe is a micromanager, planning everything from Kash’s vitamins to what underwear he wears (in efforts to increase chances of fertility). But this is understandable, as Kash is stupidly naive and arguably has no business even having a child. He is astonished by the lengthy list of necessary baby items and their high costs. As an out-of-work actor without a stable income, he worries about how he will afford them, a concern he never had as he was trying for a child. Although he provides much comedic relief – and is akin to that of Phil Dunphy from Modern Family – he was rather annoying.

Naomi (Jemima Rooper) and Charlie (Milo Twomey) are older empty nesters that haven’t had sex in over a year, now with their daughter just gone off to university. The audience are introduced to them instantly exhibiting conflict. They bicker and it is evidenced that they have grown to resent each other, particularly Naomi – who then has an affair with a much younger Rocco (Sandro Rosta). The couple separate and Naomi seeks shelter in her colleague’s (aka Zoe) house. Charlie seems oblivious to his marriage’s problems and is even rather emotionally manipulative at times – however Naomi holds her own enjoying her newfound youth.

All actors display great talent, particularly the husbands that do a great job to annoy the audience with their stupidity. Rocco made a memorable entrance and was a great addition to the dynamics already set.

Richard Molloy has written an undoubtedly funny script with an interestingly thought-provoking subtext. The play is centred around the idea of relationships and how they change and go about different stages of life, although it does steer a little pessimistic. If one is familiar with a harmony test (and the irony of its name), the plot is slightly more apparent, so if you prefer the unknown do not look it up. However, the story seemed frightfully real in many ways and shows realistic relations between spouses.

Sarah Beaton’s set is the perfect kitchen for this to unfold, intricately detailed and hyper realistic. Sound curated by Harry Blake during scene transitions is also delightful.

Overall, an enjoyable play with a great balance of comedy and seriousness. Definitely a safe bet.



Writer: Richard Molloy

Director: Alice Hamilton

Designer: Sarah Beaton

Lighting Designer: Jamie Platt

Sound Designer: Harry Blake

Cast includes: Pearl Chanda, Bally Gill, Jemima Rooper, Miles Twomey

Venue: Hampstead Theatre

Until Saturday 22nd June

Running time: 1 hour 35 mins (no interval)

Review by Sofia Moran