THE Actress by Peter Quilter captures the emotions of performer, Lydia Martin, who is preparing for her farewell appearance

Jane Newman is a charismatic, stagey Lydia She takes you into her attention-craving mind.

Controlled by Katherine her dresser, (a brilliant Barbara Steel) she receives many accolades on her final day.

One well wisher is Charles, her inappropriately elderly fiancé. Played by David Garner, he becomes breathless easily and rightly, earns some laughs,

He contrasts well with Malcolm Cooper’s Paul, the father of Lydia’s daughter, Nicole. There is still a bond between Nicole’s parents and the sofa in Act 1 is well used!

Nicole, is a typical child of fame. She has suffered neglect but also adoration. Charlie Welsh captures her dilemma well.

Few are closer to Lydia than Harriet, her agent Katherine Fennell illustrates well her love/hate relationship with her client.

Julia Broadbent, as the director’s lady friend, Margaret, shows little loyalty to Lydia especially at the end.

The setting, designed by Garth Jones and built under Steve Smith’s supervision, cleverly incorporates an on stage theatre with a back drop audience which, thanks to Steve’s sound system, can clap loudly and stop when required.

Lydia is still acting during her final farewell, where her so-called friends reveal their true characters but does Lydia ever discover her true self? We wonder.

* The Actress is at Altrincham Little Theatre until Saturday, November 25 For tickets, telephone 0161 928 1113 or email Star rating: * * * *