I LEFT Altrincham Garrick on Monday night with one question running through my mind - why doesn’t Celia Bonner do more acting?

You couldn’t meet a more pleasant person in real life, but as Mrs Danvers, the sinister housekeeper in Rebecca, she’s positively hateful, remorselessly chipping away at the fragile self-confidence of Maxim de Winter’s new wife.

One of the character’s entrances actually provoked pantomime style hisses from the audience.

Emily Hepworth is also impressive as the afore mentioned spouse, who remains un-named in Daphne du Maurier’s absorbing classic.

I really liked the way the character "grew up" on stage, in a way that was convincing and yet subtle, thanks to Emily’s fine performance and the astute direction of John Cunningham.

For those who don’t know the story, Maxim brings home his new wife to his rambling country house. At first, she’s hopelessly insecure and Danvers, who has an unhealthy obsession with the first Mrs de Winter, tries her scheming best to drive the newly weds apart. The first Mrs de Winter died in mysterious circumstances. Cue dramatic music.

If I have a gripe it’s concerning the accents - Bryn Thomas (Maxim de Winter) may have a powerful stage presence but he wasn’t posh enough for me.

Margaret Norris deserves a round of applause that provides the perfect backdrop to a story that has stood the test of time extremely well. Enjoy.

* Until March 31. The box office is on 0161 928 1677. Star rating - ***