STRANGERS on a train, that disturbing play about two passengers who meet accidentally and plot dastardly acts on a train, is now at the Opera House and it sends shivers down your spine.

Based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1950 novel which preceded an Oscar winning Hitchcock film, Craig Warner’s stage adaptation features four well-known actors.

Chris Harper (Coronation Street) plays the mentally disturbed – and dangerous – Charles Bruno whilst Jack Ashton (Call the Midwife) plays his reluctant fellow conspirator, Guy Haines.

Hannah Tointon (Mr Selfridge) is Guy’s fiancée, Anne Faulkner, who reacts to events remarkably. John Middleton (Emmerdale) becomes Arthur Gerard, a private investigator who puts a spin of his own on the case.

Bruno has a weird, possessive mother who Helen Anderson brilliantly exposes as on the verge of incest which probably drives her son mad.

Charles Bruno and Guy Haines, initially strangers on a train, come up with a plan to remove those who hinder their motives before Bruno stalks Guy turning up uninvited at his wedding.

The above-named give excellent performances as they react to events and Curtis’s performance is exceptional.

They are equalled by the creative team including David Woodhead whose moveable set depicts the inside of the train perfectly

Directed by Anthony Banks, the effects are enhanced by Howard Hudson’s lighting and Ben and Max Ringham’s well matched music and sound;

The ending will astonish you. In a bizarre way, it’s a happy one but is it fair?

* Strangers on a Train is at the Manchester Opera House until Saturday, 10th February. For tickets see or telephone 0844 871 7615. Star rating: * * *.