Colin Smith, the road-pounding athlete of the title, is bombarded with questions.
But the problem for this confused young man - and the question raised by Roy Williams’ script - is that no one seems interested in his replies.
This adaptation of the Alan Sillitoe short story - where Smith, a Borstal boy, is offered redemption through running - uses last year’s riots as a backdrop.
And while Williams’ has no intention of justifying the chaos, it lays bare the toxic results of material want and youth unemployment.
As Smith, Elliot Barnes-Worrell provides a convincing portrait of a teenager torn by conflicting pressures - from his widowed mother, his friends, and the prison authorities.
Everyone else wishes to shape him but he wants nothing - as he reveals in one impassioned moment - apart from the chance “to live”.
In Lydia Denno’s ingenious set, his thoughts - the internal monologue of Sillitoe’s story - are laid bare.
The partly opaque set - onto which different images, including the interior of his home, are projected - allows us to “see” into Smith’s mind. As he pounds away on a moving track built into the floor, lighting reveals different cast members standing behind the panel with whom he argues as he runs.
Williams’ adaptation proves sharp and funny but chilling - it’s all very well doling out moral lessons, but without opportunities young men like Smith will keep on arriving.