Judy brings Sam into an isolated Norfolk cottage a friend has lent her for the weekend. “The bedroom’s that way,” she says pointedly. Sam doesn’t, however, seem in any hurry to take the hint. It soon becomes apparent that Judy and Sam (Sally Ann Matthews and Nick Waring — pictured) don’t know much about each other, having only recently met through an Internet dating site.

Judy is very nervy and insecure, having gone through an acrimonious divorce. “It’s very important that you trust me,” she says to Sam at frequent intervals. She visibly jumps every time there’s the slightest rustle or creak, and when gunshots gradually get nearer she becomes almost hysterical.

Then there’s a loud banging at the door, and poacher Tar (Philip Dunbar) breezes in, 12-bore under his arm, offering a brace of rabbits for supper. Tar is not all that he seems, which no doubt explains his dodgy Norfolk accent. Further terror for Judy as the door opens once more, this time to admit Ann (Julie Teal), the owner of the cottage. Ann is decidedly bossy, and her manner becomes icy as she reveals a big secret: Judy’s ex-husband Nick (Chris Pavlo), who has been hiding in the attic.

That’s all I am going to reveal, because Framed! is a thriller. Writer Martin Sterling begins quite slowly, but ratchets up the tension with a sure hand (director Ian Masters). He’s also good at convincing dialogue — as well he might be, having worked on more than 1,600 episodes of Coronation Street to date.

The cast is obviously at ease with the writing, so Framed! is blessedly free of the wooden, parroted dialogue that can attend stage thrillers. Just occasionally you feel that the plot might be running a little thin, but Sterling always has a fresh surprise to spring. He also drops plenty of useful clues, should you wish to start working things out for yourself.

Framed! runs until February 26. Tickets: 0118 969 8000 (www.millatsonning.com).