‘Women’s weakness is a man’s opportunity...’ This is the disturbing mantra from a tense psychological thriller currently on stage at Studio Theatre.

Love from a Stranger is Frank Vosper’s 1936 stage adaptation of an Agatha Christie short story Philomel Cottage.

Cecily Harrington is in search of a life less ordinary. Having won a fortune on a sweepstake, she intends to leave London and end her long-term engagement to Nigel.

After a ‘chance’ meeting, she embarks on a whirlwind romance with a stranger.

American Bruce Lovell is charming and enigmatic. He sweeps Cecily off her feet and, with promises of travelling the world and an exciting future, they marry and move to the countryside.

But this is a play of two halves and, as the second act gets underway, we are reminded that this is after all classic Christie.

There is some fantastic acting in this amateur production. Anna Rose, is superb as the protagonist Cecily who, blinded by love, is frustratingly naive and loyal to her new husband until she, finally, begins to piece together the truth about the mysterious bottles of H2O2 and surprises us all.

Richard Clarke, as Bruce, has the audience chuckling at his dry sense of humour and snooping ways, until a spine-chilling moment when he rips a scarf and shows his menacing true colours.

Praise also to the supporting cast: Cath Angell is brilliant and funny as the rather formidable Aunty Loo-Loo; George Cotterill as the dependable and sensible friend Mavis; James Pullen is loveable as jilted fiancé Nigel; John Jenner as the comical gardener Hodgson, taking care of the cottage along with niece Ethel, played by Sophie Townsend. And it feels like we are in safe hands when Dr Gribble, ably played by Alistair Faulkner, arrives on the scene.

Designed by Richard Clarke, there are two contrasting sets - one for each act. The first act is set in Cecily’s paired back London apartment with minimal art deco furnishings, boxes and dust sheets as she prepares to move out. After the interval, the set is transformed into a country cottage. Like the story itself, in act two the cottage set is darker and lighting is cleverly used to draw the audience’s focus to the characters, as the tension builds towards the finale.

Huge thanks to director Colin Hayman for bringing this wonderfully chilling production to the Studio Theatre.

Love From A Stranger continues at Studio Theatre, Ashley Road, until Friday, April 26th. Tickets are on sale at £15 for adults and £8 for children 16 and under, and are available from Salisbury Information Centre in Fish Row, by calling  01722 342860 or online by visiting www.ticketsource.co.uk/studiotheatresalisbury