THERE is a Peter Kay 'garlic bread' moment when the word 'coleslaw' is uttered in this dark comedy.

Such everyday references are suitably salt and peppered throughout Michael Wynne's latest play, Cuckoo.

The Birkenhead-born writer also relishes the opportunity to name-check the Wirral locations of his youth from Grange Road to Claughton Village and Port Sunlight.

And one of the four characters even has a Birkenhead tote bag.

It is not a surprise from Michael.

He won early acclaim in his career with the Birkenhead-based, award-winning play The Knocky.

He is proud of his inspirational roots and it shows.

This is a bitter-sweet drama that says a lot about home being where the heart is (or not).

The static living room set with a staircase leading to an unopened bedroom means the audience will spend the 125-minute production eavesdropping on a family version of Loose Women as they initially tuck into a chippie dinner - a veritable feast of Scouse fish and quips.

The four versatile Merseyside actresses flesh out the quartet of very different individuals.

There's Doreen (Mum and Nan (Sue Jenkins) daughters - chemist worker Carmel( Michelle Butterly) and primary school teacher Sarah (Jodie McNee).

And there's enigmatic Megyn ( Emma Harrison) - a teenager with problems.

All four use their mobile phones as if they are glued to their hands - a small screen replacement for conversation.

They respond to news flashes with shock and horror.

They laugh out loud with shared humorous posts.

Pinging becomes a natural skill set.

We need to know what is wrong with Megyn who decides to stay with Nan rather than her single mum Carmel.

The under-pressure mother has her own work dilemmas involving a zero-hour contract.

And Sarah is in love (she believes) with a dentist.

Is he telling the truth?

Sue Jenkins plays Doreen with her usual spot-on timing.

A smile speaks volumes.

Doreen has a little on-line sales business and that keeps her content. She has a spring in her step because of a little light romance with someone called Barry.

A sequence involving Tina Turner's Private Dancer is a highlight.

There are some laugh-out-loud observations in the comfortable soap opera-styled setting.

But what is worrying Megyn? Is she being bullied? Why the fear?

Cuckoo is certainly about coping mechanisms.

The stylishly lit finale does not shed much light as we leave the characters still searching their hearts and minds while going about their stress-filled daily lives.

I wanted to know what would become of fragile Megyn but ultimately it was like losing the signal when you are at the end of an important call.

Globe verdict:

Four stars - Reality check

It is on until September 23.

Tickets are from 0151 709 4776 or here