EVER since it was founded by the late, great David MacLennan back in 2004, the lunchtime theatre A Play, A Pie And A Pint (PPP) has been characterised by the startling diversity of its programme.

From light comedies to gritty, socially realistic dramas, the Glasgow-based producer has always been noted for the sheer breadth of its offering.

Its latest play He Who Opens The Door, written by celebrated Ukrainian playwright Neda Nezhdana and adapted by John Farndon – is testament to the boldness of PPP’s programming.

The piece – which transfers from the Oran Mor in Glasgow to the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen – is a pitch dark comedy that resides in the bleak no-man’s land between war drama and Samuel Beckett-style existentialism.

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Morgue worker Vera (Louise Stewart) and literally dead drunk Vika (Yolanda Mitchell) encounter each other in the backroom at the aforementioned reception house for the deceased. The question is: did Vera die when she fainted at the sight of Vika’s walking, talking corpse, or was Vika incorrectly declared dead from last night’s Bacchanalian excesses?

In other words, are these young women alive or dead? The question is less easily resolved than one might expect. The doors out of the room are suddenly locked. The phone is dead, except for the occasional incoming calls from a man who intimates, variously, that he and his associates are coming, delayed and not coming at all.

Stuck in this impenetrable building (a former Cold War nuclear shelter) Vera and Vika can’t be sure whether the caller represents a military force in Ukraine’s brutal war, a gang of degenerate men with hideous plans for sexual violence, or a celestial power which is toying with them as they fret in limbo.

Nezhdana’s play – which predates the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February of this year, but not the conflict in the Donbas which began in 2014 – is a heady brew. In both its subject matter and its bleak humour, it has shades of Beckett’s great drama Endgame.

However, a brave attempt though this production by director Becky Hope-Palmer is, one wonders how much of the original piece has been lost in translation from Ukraine to Scotland.

Whilst there is an initial, Irvine Welsh-style comedy – not least in Mitchell’s decidedly radge, too-drunk-to-be-hungover Vika – the show soon settles into a somewhat frustrating uncertainty over its identity.

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Despite strong performances, this staging fails to pursue any of the play’s strands with sufficient confidence.

That is true whether it be the drama’s comic dimension, its philosophical ruminations on life and death, or its reflections on the threat of violence faced by women in Ukraine – or, indeed, anywhere else.

The original script is described by New Play Exchange (the online new playwriting resource) as being up to 60-minutes-long.

Therefore, the seeming lack of conviction in Farndon’s adaptation cannot necessarily be explained by the need for it to be cut to fit PPP’s lunchtime format.

At the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, October 4-8, and The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, October 11-15