We know Far Gone is a tale of Ugandan child soldiers. So we know the innocence of Okumu, this sweet little boy playing with a spinning top before us, cannot last. But pre-preparedness does not blunt the impact of this fine piece of solo physical theatre.

The Lord’s Resistance Army is on the rampage. They lay out no aims or mission, other than an insistence on obeying the Word of God. (Though what God would have to say about terrorising children into taking up arms and committing bloody murder, we can imagine.) With trepidation, we look on as they visit their terror on Okumu’s village.

John Rwothomack, the Ugandan-born, Sheffield-bred originator of the piece employs familiar devices, but employs them deftly to hook us into this troubling story. There’s the breaking of the fourth wall as he works the room like a stand-up to knock us off guard. There’s the rapid tonal shifts between slow-moving, music-backed dream sequences and frantic, tense confrontations. When these aren’t soundtracked by gunfire, they’re accompanied by sounds of nature that only heighten our sense of the raw, precarious present – the breathing, the sweat, the fear. Then there’s the physical ticks he’s lent each character, enabling us to discern who we’re watching even as they wrestle each other to the floor… or stab each other… or machete an innocent.

The queasily charismatic commandant’s ‘tell’ is an arrogant flick of the chin as he ponders what manner of rough justice to dispense. At times, we’re his recruits, urged to chant along or answer biblical questions to earn his praise, becoming complicit ourselves by responding. Dehumanising language is dispensed casually – ‘bring it here’ – then warm approval landed on his favourites for pleasing him. Manipulation at its most loathsome.

Okumu’s brother is his mentor through this horror, the way he wipes his nose on his sleeve betraying he’s nought but a kid himself. And the commandant’s slack-jawed henchman, Sprinkler – their nicknames all have sinister origins – is the role model the commandant has made for him.

Rwothomack is captivating throughout. Each character switch is well-drilled and the dynamic shifts smartly executed. The play is clearly well aware of the power of its subject matter and consequently, does not have to work too hard dramatically to achieve its emotional response. But achieve it, it does. There’s not one of us wouldn’t wish Okumu back to playing with his spinning top in a heartbeat.