Hidden is the story of six strangers, who are all hiding something. We follow them as their paths cross and we learn about their secret selves. Written and performed by Laura Lindsay and Peter Carruthers, who make up the theatre company Black Toffee, Hidden is the first theatre production by the company. It was a sell-out show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013 and is currently on a UK tour.

The performances of both Lindsay and Carruthers are outstanding. Lindsay’s comedy timing is excellent, particularly when playing Claire, a Scottish supermarket worker. Her one-liners about struggling to find a shag are the comedy highlight of a very funny production. Carruthers is a charming performer whom the audience instantly warm to, making his performance of Colin, a man trying to hide a dark side of himself, particularly heart-breaking. His portrayal of James, a London commuter, is a joy to watch and clearly strikes a chord with the London audience. The multi-roling is superb as the actors transform before our eyes, and you are never confused where you are or who you are with. Both performers sustain the energy throughout the 70-minute production, never dropping the ball and always keeping the audience on side.

The writing is brilliantly witty and the stories themselves weave together seamlessly; they give enough to make small rewarding connections but rarely give anything away. A lot of the text is directly addressed to the audience, sometimes creating a sense of observational comedy. It is also easy to find yourself empathising with the characters and involved in the problems they are trying to solve. The strong relationship this creates with the audience draws us in and makes the comedy even more hysterical. The set’s pop art style creates all the locations efficiently and its simplicity, together with that of the costume changes, creates new places and characters, highlighting the skill of the performers and never allowing the production to drag.

Some of the narratives are slightly clichéd, such as Nina, who faces the modern woman’s dilemma of work versus children before “its too late”. However they are acted sensitively and written with depth, so the initial cliché is easily overlooked.

Hidden takes character and situations to which everyone can, on some level, relate to and presents them in a charming, witty and all round enjoyable production. I would highly recommend this dark comedy and Black Toffee are definitely a company to keep an eye on.

Hidden is playing at the Cockpit until 12 April. For more information and tickets, see the Cockpit Theatre website.