A major new production of Strangers on a Train is set to steam into theatres across the UK next year.

The masterful and gripping thriller is based on the taught psychological drama by the celebrated writer Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr Ripley, Carol), immortalised by Hitchcock’s Academy Award-winning film.

Opening at Brighton’s Theatre Royal on January 5, Strangers on a Train is presented by Ambassador Theatre Group and Smith and Brant Theatricals, and directed by Anthony Banks - the team behind the critically acclaimed and phenomenally successful tour of Patrick Hamilton’s Gaslight.

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Casting is led by John Middleton (Detective Arthur Gerard) who left Emmerdale earlier this year in a deeply moving storyline, having played the village’s beloved Vicar Ashley Thomas for over 20 years.

Christopher Harper – currently appearing on the nation’s screens as Coronation Street’s Nathan Curtis in the show’s explosive grooming storyline - plays the charismatic and manipulative Charles Bruno, a psychopathic playboy who has a chance encounter with a troubled stranger, Guy Haines (played by Jack Ashton, Call The Midwife).

Hannah Tointon, starring as Guy’s fiancé, Anne Faulkner, is famed for her roles in Mr Selfridge (alongside her sister, Kara), The Inbetweeners and Hollyoaks.

A fateful encounter takes place between two men in the dining carriage of a train crossing America. Guy Haines is the successful businessman with a nagging doubt about the fidelity of his wife. Charles Bruno is a cold, calculating chancer with a dark secret. A daring and dangerous plan develops from this casual conversation, setting in motion a chain of events that will change the two men’s lives forever.

Strangers On A Train was written by Craig Warner and based on the world renowned 1950 novel by Patricia Highsmith, latterly made universally famous by the classic Alfred Hitchcock film. In the great tradition of Hitchcock, this spine-chilling tale will delight audiences with its marriage of dark wit and edge-of-the-seat tension.

Director Anthony Banks’ credits include this year’s hugely successful production of Gaslight starring Kara Tointon and Keith Allen, as well as Dennis Kelly’s DNA (National Tour); Bryony Lavery’s Cesario and More Light, Lucinda Coxon’s The Eternal Not and Michael Lesslie’s Prince of Denmark (National Theatre); Snoo Wilson’s Pignight (Menier); Mark Ravenhill’s The Experiment (Soho Theatre & Berliner Ensemble); Tennessee Williams’ The Hotel Plays; Patrick Marber’s After Miss Julie (Theatre Royal Bath & National Tour). Anthony was an associate director at the National Theatre until 2014 where he commissioned and developed one hundred new plays for NT Connections.