CANTERBURY Players celebrate their 70th anniversary with House Guest, a classic Francis Durbridge thriller,

It’s about some unusual kidnappers who don’t require a ransom but do want to occupy a house for 48 hours. The victim is the son of Robert Drury (Damian McHugh). a famous actor and his wife, Stella (Linda Irish),

Stella’s initial poise soon gives way to hysteria at the fate of her little boy. Linda portrays a woman who puts her husband and son above all.

The lion’s share of the work goes to Damian McHugh who is not only on stage as his own character most of the time but switches roles to an identical Irishman. Well done Damian.

This play pulls no punches. It is a good old-fashioned murder involving stabbing, strangling and shooting.

Two so-called police officers who arrive are Inspector Burford, played by Robert Goodier and Sergeant Clayton (Charlie Roberts). These two soon become the baddies of the tale sending shivers down your spine. Ripples of comedy come from Ann Robinson as the dotty Dorothy. She really is a hoot.

It took ten volunteers to complete the detailed set. The sound and lighting were excellent, too.

House Guest is at the Methodist Church Hall, Brook Road, Flixton until Saturday, May 11. Tickets from 0161 748 8403 or email

By Julia Taylor