Image: DWGS Photos

If there is hell on earth, it just might be in Los Angeles. The city is full of petty crime, bored lap dancers and the cops who after putting you away end up sleeping with your wife. That’s the town writer director Chè Walker depicts in Time Is Love. Set in the last remaining barrios of east Los Angeles, it’s a piece that’s often difficult to follow. Perhaps the central message is that even when a cop sleeps with your wife, no amount of revenge sex will make it better.

But the production has assembled a great cast to tell the tale of bored friends and acquaintances who use sex and anger to pass the time. Benjamin Cawley and Gabriel Akuwudike establish a fascinating bromance as the petty criminals and longtime pals, Karl and Blaz. Karl leaves him to take the fall for a botched robbery. Three years later out of jail, nothing for Blaz seems right. Sheila Atim is mesmerising as the weary lap-dancer Rosa. And there’s a great scene with Sasha Frost, the sex worker and ex schoolmate of Blaz who talks him out of sex without offering a refund. Time might be love as the play’s title suggests, but one cannot forget that it is also money.

It’s a simple production with a series of projections used to depict the change in time, place and mood. Too bad they often distract from the performances on stage.

Time Is Love, Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London, SW10 9ED. Tickets from £16. Until 26 January

from Londonist