WHEN a dashing and charismatic young man enters her life, Ursula, living the quiet life with her widow sister Janet, becomes a lovesick teenager again, to the point that it becomes embarrassing for her sibling who is, emotionally, something of a closed book.
This play is sure to strike a chord with anyone who has been a victim of unrequited love. Sadly, this is a club with many, many members.
The duo's mysterious guest has been involved in a shipwreck and is, shock horror, a foreigner. Remember, we're in the picture postcard England of the 1930's, Cornwall to be precise, where someone from another country was treated like they came from another planet.
The doting Ursula and Janet even try to teach him our native tongue using the "speak slowly and shout" method, as they tenderly nurse Andrea, who comes from Poland, so it transpires, back to health.
But Andrea is a man with a talent and I'm not just referring to his ability to steal the heart of a lonely old lady. Enter Olga Daniloff, another visitor who turns up unexpectedly to give Andrea his big break after captivating the piece's other lonely heart, Dr Mead.
Director Lisa Barker has coaxed some fine performances from a cast who evidently share her deep seated affection for this gentle, humorous and quietly touching tale.
Arthur Hulse certainly gets the sympathy vote as the dependable doctor, when he's treated with disdain by the aloof Olga, an exceptional Paula Keen.
For me though, the performances of the evening come from Barbara Steel and Cherrill Wyche as Ursula and Janet, so convincing as the sisters whose lives are turned upside down by Andrea, played by impressive ALT newcomer Thomas Christopher. His talents are sure to be much sought after, after a performance as assured and accomplished as this.
* Until May 26. The box office is on 0161 928 1113. Star rating - ****