Sleuth, The Marco Players Chorley Old Road Methodist Church. Until Saturday.

REGULAR consumers of local amateur theatre will have been anticipating this production for months. Rest assured that this show takes the already formidable reputation of our gifted players to new heights.

Director Natalie Crompton has created a taut, gymnastic piece of theatre that crackles and pulsates with physical and intellectual energy, driven by two world class performances from Alan Macpherson and Jason Crompton.

Anthony Shaffer's 1970 classic tells of snobbish old-school mystery writer Andrew Wyke, who invites his wife's lover Milo Tindle to fake an insurance-scam burglary. Then the truth emerges . . . then another truth, then another . . .

To reveal any more would be a crime in itself. We are treated to two masterclass portrayals. As Wyke, Alan Macpherson creates a vivid and sprightly mind-gamer, slipping between amiability, menace, venom and crack-up. When his underlying character is finaly stripped bare, you hold your breath.

Likewise Jason Crompton, who underpins Milo's brave and ingenious battling with a tragic vulnerability that engages from start to finish. Both actors shine in each other's company, shrugging off each wicked verbal barb before zinging back with another.

A sumptuous, classic production that no-one should miss.