IF you've ever been on a bad date, spare a thought for poor Susan in Veronica's Room, currently playing at Altrincham Little Theatre.
Nothing is quite what it seems in Ira Levin's classy, claustrophobic and compelling thriller and you'd be forgiven for an occasional glance towards the exits, just for re-assurance.
Susan's desire to do a good deed for what appear to be a homely and harmless Irish couple goes horribly wrong for this liberated young woman. The play's climax is also deeply unsettling and proof lf any were needed sophisticated shock tactics can still affect an audience. Yes. Rest assured, this is very scary stuff.
It's hard to believe Vicky Siddle, who plays Susan, known simply as The Girl in the programme notes, is new to acting. She's so self-assured and her services are set to be in great demand on Trafford's amateur stage. Hers is the complete performance and accomplished director John Chidgey must also take credit for this as he certainly gets the best out of a tight and talented four strong cast.
Cherill Wyche, Stephen Moss and Anthony Morris certainly play their part in ensuring the throat tightening tension running through act two never slips.
Levin also wrote Rosemary's Baby, among other things, a movie that still spooks me to this day. But you must not miss the chance to enter Veronica's Room, for me one of the best productions I've seen at ALT. Creepy and compelling.
* Until March 19. The box office is on 0161 928 1113. Star rating - ****