A vivid portrayal of one woman’s entanglement in addiction, treatment and self-awareness, may not sound like an instant box office success, but People, Places and Things is so intoxicating that it enjoyed a sell-out season at the National Theatre and in London’s West End

Headlong’s striking play has now been revived, the lead played by Lisa Dwyer Hogg, as Emma whose life has spun recklessly out of control through her dependency on drink and drugs.

An exhausting and emotional part then? “Yes, it’s a bit of a marathon, but it’s such a brilliant play that while it’s challenging, it’s why actors do the job they do, it’s something to get your teeth into, because it has so many levels.

“So it’s incredible to get a role like this. It doesn’t happen very often. And to have such a dominant central, female role to play is a gift. Because Emma is a powerhouse. This is why we become actors for roles like this. The rewards are plentiful.”

And yet a fairly dark subject matter, considering. So why does Lisa think it has struck such a universal note? “Lots of people can empathise with Emma’s struggle to exist in a world that you can’t control.

“It’s not an alien concept to most people. A lot of people have either suffered from addiction or know someone who has. Few families have been left untouched by it and the pain of being out of control. It’s very common, so people can identify with her on all sorts of levels and empathise with Emma throughout.

“But the play is also hopeful in many ways and truthful. It’s really a look at what it is to be a human being in this day and age, and the audience comes on the journey with us.”

It is also a part that Lisa has coveted ever since she saw it in the West End.

So was she worried about making it her own? “No, I wasn’t interested in replicating what had come before. So when I heard the play was being reinvented in every aspect, from the set to the cast, I was in. I was ready to go to that dark place. I wanted to bring a new interpretation to the piece and I’m enjoying coming at it from a very different place.”

It means that Lisa is taking extra care of herself, to carry her through the strenuous tour, by going to bed early and eating properly. “You have to when playing parts like this. But I still get classic anxiety dreams.”

Mind you, with the current trend for Nordic drama, and all things dark, it’s the prefect time for the revival, as Lisa well knows, having just played a part in The Fall in which she played Marion Kay, the sister of serial killer Paul Spector’s first victim.

“People like the thrill and you can feel that the audience is willing to go on that journey with you. And I have been very lucky to play so many complex parts. But perhaps a comedy would be nice next.”

People, Places & Things at Oxford Playhouse runs until Saturday.

Book at 01865 305305 or oxfordplayhouse.com