Love from a Stranger

A tense psychological thriller in two acts taken from Philomel Cottage and The Stranger

Running time: 2 hours 40 minutes

Cast size: 8


Love from a Stranger
Cecily Harrington has led a staid and proper existence. After winning a large amount of money in a sweepstake she desperately yearns for a life of adventure. Enter Bruce Lovell, a handsome and charming stranger who sweeps her off her feet. In a whirlwind romance, she recklessly abandons her job, friends and fiancé to settle in the remote and blissful surroundings of a country cottage. However, her newfound “love from a stranger” is not what it seems and in an astonishingly tense final scene, Cecily discovers the ghastly truth of her new love. An intense and chilling psychological thriller which examines the sadistic mind of a serial killer and the extremes to which the power of suggestion can be pushed.

Play information

The action takes place between Cecily Harrington’s flat in Bayswater and a remote country cottage.
Running time
2 hours 40 minutes

Character list

  • Number of male characters: 4
  • Number of female characters: 4
  • Louise Garrard
  • Mavis Wilson
  • Cecily Harrington
  • Bruce Lovell
  • Nigel Lawrence
  • Hodgson
  • Ethel
  • Dr. Gribble

Performing this play

More about this play

The original Christie short story on which the play was based, Philomel Cottage, is one of Christie’s most adapted works. Some years before this play, Christie herself wrote a stage version, calling it The Stranger. Love from a Stranger opened at the New (now Noël Coward) Theatre in the West End in 1936. It was then reworked for film a year later, starring Ann Harding and Basil Rathbone. The play was then televised in 1938, live on BBC Television. When the story was adapted for the American half-hour radio programme Suspense it starred Orson Welles as Gerald.
The final act is sure of its effect. The suspense is maintained; each turn of the story is clear and striking; the terror-stricken self-control of the girl and the man's gross and abominable insanity are depicted with every refinement. A successful thriller.
Charles Morgan, The Times