PARLIAMENT Square is the setting for a dynamic new play by James Fritz, who was the 2017 winner of the prestigious Bruntwood Prize for playwriting.

You can see why because he gets so well into the mind of a young activist, Kat played by Esther Smith, who goes to London to make a difference.

But what really motivates a happily married young mother to travel London to petrol bomb herself?

Is it the desire for publicity? Is it a modern form of self-flagellation or is it pure anarchy?

In this Royal Exchange/Chris Goode company production, Kat has seen on the news about what was going on in the world and has written to her mother hoping her family will understand why she has taken the action she has.

Certainly, she does make a difference but is it worthwhile and will the world soon forget?

Where do you draw the line between commitment and dangerous obsession?

Not only is Fritz’s play making it’s premier but Jude Christian is making her Royal Exchange debut as director – and a good job she does, too.

Although Esther Smith plays the central role, there are good performances from Seraphina Beh as Catherine on whom everything rebounds, Damola Adelaja as Kat’s patient husband and Joanne Howarth as her loving mother.

Parliament Square is at the Royal Exchange until October 28. For tickets, telephone the box office at 0161 833 9833 or see Star rating * * * .