Playwright Francis Durbridge wrote crime stories, mainly for film and theatre, but he is best known for his television detective Paul Temple.

His TV scripts with the fictional detective, played by Francis Matthews, were a big hit in 1969 on BBC1.

Tonight in the Swindon Arts Centre The Phoenix Players also take to crime with the stage version of the playwright's novel House Guest.

The cast, under the direction of Daphne Breakspear, includes Sandra Gilbert as Vivien Norwood, Margaret Price as Jane Mercer, Nicky Ashdown as Stella Drury Nicholas Gratton as Robert Drury and Paul Dawkins as Inspector Burford.

The story is based around Robert and Stella Drury, whose luxury lifestyle as Hollywood actors is thrown into disarray when Robert returns from Italy to inform Stella that their son, Mike, has been kidnapped. He has been warned not to involve the police.

There is no ransom demand and the couple are even more puzzled when the kidnapper arrives at their home. He insists that he does not want money but merely to be their house guest for the next forty eight hours. The couple try to work out why the kidnapper has made such a strange demand but even stranger events begin to occur.

The drama runs until Saturday, January 26 at the Devizes Road, Theatre in Old Town from 7.30pm.

Abdul Mohammed is leading the creative back stage crew as stage manager, along with Martin Lawrence on sound and Will Thomas on lighting.

Tickets are £12 or £10 concessions, group bookings are one ticket free for every 10 tickets booked on 07517 698083 or email bookings@phoenix-players.com