Despite the real power of Hiddleston's performance, that empathy gap strikes me as a flaw. We can't quite take Emma at her word (we've also heard her lie on other important matters), and so the scales of Lloyd's play end up tipped rather than balanced. It seems to be a play about a victim and two perpetrators - but I think it's a play about three people, all of whom we should empathize with, all of whom we should mistrust, all of whom are capable of great selfishness. Ashton has the hardest job: Emma's got that sense of mystery about her that sometimes happens when men, even very talented men, write women. The scenes between Robert and Jerry, though often tense and terse, feel lived, red-blooded, affectionate. Emma often seems ethereal - her motivations and actual desires somehow far away. (For a real bust-up of that trope, get into Bakewell's essay - there's no mystery woman there; instead there's a super-smart Cambridge grad who was expected to become a housewife and mother at 25.) The character is already the most opaque in the play, and Ashton's performance doesn't do much to elucidate her. Tall and willowy, with bare feet and a dancer's limbs, she tucks her hair behind her ears, tilts her head and half smiles. It's clear she likes Jerry's attention, but it's not clear where her own deep hungers lie. Lloyd has her leaning into the enigmatic aura Pinter gave Emma, and it renders Ashton less visceral and-and this is the real problem-less sympathetic than her male counterparts.