IT'S not a bad enticement to a night in the theatre – a world premiere from one of the world's greatest thriller writers delivered by a company celebrating 30 years presenting distinctive work.

At the moment we are enjoying some intense dramas on the telly which depend on viewers staying with them throughout - whether it's over three nights or six to eight weeks.

I-Players everywhere have been going into overdrive.

So it's refreshing to get out to the theatre and see a whole story wrapped up in one go, so to speak.

That said, coming in at under three hours, Gallowglass - the latest production from the well-respected Middle Ground company - could do with some trimming.

There's black comedy, too, some of which works very well while at other times it detracts from the dark storyline which has hints of Hitchcockian suspense.

The story revolves around homeless youngster Joe, who is rescued from, what appears, a suicide mission at Paddington Tube station by a man called Sandor Wincanton.

He then tells the impressionable lad that he now belongs to him.

Creepy indeed.

And that's where the intriguing plot thickens as kidnapping become a central theme.

What is motivating Sandor? played with real menace by Joe Eyre.

Clues to his mental state in this psychological drama come from his tipsy mum who turns upo at his flat.

It's a top notch, ten-strong cast with faces familiar from some of TV's greatest hits.

Paul Opacic of Hollyoaks, Emmerdale and Bad Girls fame joining Karen Drury, ex of Brookside, Dean Smith who appeared in Last Tango in Halifax and Richard Walsh from the classic series London's Burning.

Rachael Hart's brassy Tilley shines from the moment she arrives.

Directed and designed by Michael Lunney, it has been adapted by Margaret May Hobbs.

Gallowglass is by Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine and this version will certainly satisfy her fans.

The unsettling narrative takes audiences into unknown murderous worlds.

A major highlight of this touring play is the split-stage set and a back-cloth projection screen.

We are transported to railway stations, two living apartments, exterior country mansions, a clay-pigeon shooting scene and atmospheric woodlands (day and night).

Now that's something you don't get sitting in front of the television set.

A chilling tale of the unexpected.

Three-and-a-half stars.

The show is at the Floral Pavilion Until Saturday.

Tickets from the box office on 666 0000.