It was a delight to visit the new (to me) arts venue in Didcot, the Cornerstone, to see the opening night of the latest production by Oxfordshire Theatre Company. The town is fortunate to have this comfortable and well-presented theatre providing a great space for a rich variety of entertainments.

OTC’s new show is Vertigo. This is well known as a Hitchcock film but this adaptation from Jonathan Holloway is closer to the original story, The Living and the Dead, by French writers Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. It begins in a Paris hospital where Dr Jacques Ballard addresses a conference of medical experts (that’s us in the audience!) on the strange case of Roger Flavieres, a man terrified of heights and haunted by his past. But as the actors play out his history, the evening becomes both a whodunnit and an extraordinary exploration of erotomania.

Flavieres becomes obsessed by the beautiful and mysterious Madelaine, whose husband has employed him to observe her movements because she is behaving strangely. The complex plot twists and turns throughout but the excellent adaptation, direction by Karen Simpson, and sure-footed performances make certain that the audience do not get lost on the way. Steve Dineen was terrific as the deranged Flavieres, strongly supported by Peter Gardiner as Dr Ballard and Daniel Copeland as Nurse Gratin (and other roles). Sophia Thierens shone as the complex heroine, and as an ensemble they worked perfectly together. The story is unmistakeably French, and the production glories in this (particularly the evocative set by Laura McEwen). It also reflects perfectly the era in which it is set — immediately before and after the Second World War.

OTC has another winner on its hands with this production, which can be seen at West Oxford Community Centre on Saturday and continues touring Oxfordshire, and further afield, until November 2. For full details of the venues visited on the tour go to the company’s website