It's an intriguing thought that cultural conditioning rubs off no matter what. Take Jean Marie Besset's What You Get And What You Expect.

Intriguing title, even more intriguing new configuration for the Lyric following the Royal Court's West End example, cutting down the stage arena and placing audience seating on stage as the Court have done at their Ambassador's and Duke of York's retreats for the past couple of years.

Trendy London ways, but Besset's satirical comedy could have come only from France. Close your eyes and for all the swishy nonchalance of Jeremy Sams's excellent translation, you're back in Marivaux or Moliere land - mores, modes, and personal relationships analysed with scalpel-like precision, played out with meticulous style.

As with Moliere's The Misanthrope, Besset's target is power and the games people play with it, stingingly brought up to date as a style encounter between a smooth French Minister (Jessica Turner in stunning mode) and two prospective architects vying for a national commission (shades of the Millennium Dome). Even more contemporaneously, it also has a bisexual tug of war.

Besset has a great feel for the kinds of manouevrings and lubricous entryism required, as ever, to climb the greasy pole though slightly less convincing in his handling of chickens sexually coming home to roost.

Thierry Harcourt's sensitively cast, elegant production, however, always conveys, on the slenderest of means, Besset's almost Kafkaesque sense of innocence embattled against bureaucratic chicanery and metropolitan cynicism. TV exiles Dominic Taylor (EastEnder's Nick Holland) and Eva Pope (Coronation Street's Tanya Pooley) prove there is life beyond the TV camera, while Simon Dutton and Oliver Haden provide real ballast.