The Pump House Theatre Company’s latest production, By Way of Murder, is a tale of “murder, sex, kidnap, suicide, blackmail and despicable deceit”, according to writer and director Mark Waghorn, so it should have plenty to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

“It’s a typical old-fashioned thriller, not quite Agatha Christie, but in a similar vein and it has lots of humour too,” explains Mark. “The action centres around an isolated stately home in the early 1970s - before mobile phones and the Internet threatened to spoil a good plot!” he joked.

“The play has many different strands to it which are revealed over time and then all tied together at the end, with plenty of exciting twists and turns along the way to keep the audience guessing.” Although Mark has directed many plays by well-known playwrights for the company, this is the first time he’s had the chance to direct one of his own.

“The idea for the play started almost 30 years ago when I was appearing in a thriller season and the character I was playing was murdered very early in the performance, leaving me with a lot of time on my hands in the dressing room. I decided to spend that time writing the first draft of By Way of Murder.” Since then Mark has worked on it in spare moments and the result is an affectionate – almost tongue-in-cheek - homage to the thriller genre.

“I have always had an ambition since acting in plays at school to write a full-length play and see it performed on stage, so it’s really exciting to see that dream now becoming a reality after all these years.”

Asked which one he enjoyed most out of acting, directing and writing Mark explained, “I like them all equally. Each requires a completely different set of skills and involvement. Having said that, I have found there to be nothing more exciting than seeing a play you’ve written come to life on stage.”

Pump House Theatre, Local Board Road, Watford, WD17 2JP from June 11 to 16. Details: