When it comes to the local stage Elaine Lloyd is definitely no foreigner.

At both the Headgate and the Mercury in Colchester, she’s been an integral part of the theatrical process.

Now she’s stepping up to the director’s chair for a production of The Foreigner by Larry Shue, which has a very personal place in Elaine’s heart because it was one of her father’s favourites.

She says: “He played the lead of Charlie when he was head of languages at the British School in Saudi Arabia mainly because he was only one of two British people at the school. Somebody commended his performance in a review and it’s been one of his favourites ever since.

“It’s huge in the States, with loads of productions each year.”

In The Foreigner Charlie is a shy English proofreader who is staying in a fishing lodge in Georgia but because he doesn’t really want to talk to anyone his best friend tells the locals he’s a foreigner who can’t speak English.

“As it’s set in the Deep South,” Elaine says, “they’re a bit wary of him at first but after a while, because he appears not to understand them, they start opening up to him and telling him all their secrets.”

With a great cast of popular local actors like Les Chisnall and Brian Malone, and some new faces to the scene as well, The Foreigner, which is being presented by the Colchester Theatre Group, runs at the Headgate Theatre, Colchester, next week from Wednesday to Saturday, May 23 to 26 at 7.45pm with a 2.30pm performance on the Saturday.

For tickets, priced £13 and £10 for concessions, call the box office on 01206 366000 or go on-line at www.headgatetheatre.co.uk