A motif running through Rafaella Marcus’s gripping new play, Sap, is a fable from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, where Daphne is transformed into a laurel tree to avoid the unwanted attentions of the god, Apollo. But while images of nature, trees and plants intertwine through the writing, Sap wears its myth lightly.

In a powerful piece of storytelling, a young bisexual woman reveals the pleasures and pitfalls of her life navigating sex and relationships in a modern-day city. After a liaison with a handsome and charming man turns out to be just a one-night stand, she falls for a lesbian she meets in a gay bar. Labels become a problem when the new lover reveals she doesn’t date women who “can’t make up their mind” about their sexual identity, driving our modern-day Daphne to hide her bisexuality – a lie that soon escalates due to a quirk of fate.

Sap brilliantly explores sexual identity and female sexuality with frankness and honesty while also telling a compelling tale that combines humour with darker, more menacing elements. Directed by Jessica Lazar, it rarely flags, driven along by an excellent, likeable performance by Jessica Clark, telling the story alongside Rebecca Banatvala as all the other characters. Movement direction by Jennifer Fletcher heightens the sense of a life in constant, nervous motion and also captures moments of both intimacy and underlying threat. Marcus’s writing has touches of lyrical beauty, especially when the mythic tale does seep into the story, conjuring up vivid images of a young woman and an urban landscape threatened by vegetative transformation.

Sap runs at Paines Plough’s Roundabout at Summerhall at Edinburgh Fringe to 28 August 2022. Tickets at edfringe.com.