I’VE heard of the Joseph Rowntree Theatre productions often and last night I had the pleasure – and, yes, I confess shock – of watching an incredibly professional amateur cast present the musical Ghost.

As I come from a broad family of Rowntree workers, the theatre venue has the warmest of associations, and I’m sure many York residents would share this affection.

So I entered this cosy, intimate space as if coming home, for a quiet cuppa and a soothing evening’s entertainment. Instead, I was stunned and invigorated.

The authenticity of the acting was striking and deeply engaging; even the American accents were absorbed seamlessly into the experience.

And as the music from the orchestra pit, tucked neatly beneath the stage, filled the auditorium, the voices rose in sweet and rousing harmony.

Terrific performances from the lead couple, as well as the characters Oda Mae Brown and Carl Bruner.

The chorus and cameo performers both put on a wonderful display.

Scenes switched worlds – from frenetic New York banking to a Brooklyn love nest; from sleazy dark underworld to the colourful flamboyance and froth of the medium’s parlour. From tragedy to comedy – hilarious; wildly funny.

A journey through metaphysics, we were taken from purgatory to hell – and it was heaven.

Jayne Venables, Fylingdale Avenue, Clifton, York.