The drama messes with your head, making you believe that you’re nearly as mad as the criminally insane residents of the asylum in which the story is set.
Are the characters whom they initially purport to be and is the audience as much a pawn in this deranged game of psychiatric play as its victim?
The guessing game is still on as the final curtain falls, making this compelling play intriguing and chilling.
It makes for a mind-blowing finale to the classic thriller season at Nottingham Theatre Royal this week.
Andrew Ryan is cast as the writer of true-life murder stories who is desperately seeking an interview with a killer at the asylum but his motive goes far deeper than just research for his latest book.
Michael Sherwin ramps up the tension as the strange, forgetful doctor and Sarah Wynne Kordas adds fuel to the flames as the nervy nurse.
Little by little, the play becomes more sinister and disturbing as the writer is strapped into a straitjacket, the nurse is stabbed and suffocated and the tale takes several unpredictable turns.
Manic screams echoing from locked rooms and clanking metal doors add to the blood-curdling atmosphere.
The play stops short of giving the audience too many nightmares, thanks to occasional flashes of black comedy.
Mindgame is directed by Karen Henson for Tabs Productions and runs at the Theatre Royal until Saturday, August 20.
The production transfers to Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre from September 1 to 3.