Dial M for Murder
Review by Pete Rimmer
IT was good to get back to the Playhouse and see some live theatre again, and a good sized audience also seemed happy to get along to see this very famous play.
This new production is finally on its UK tour after being put on hold in 2020 following the pandemic.
Originally made as a film in 1954, Dial M for Murder is American crime mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Ray Milland and Grace Kelly. It was a big hit at the time and continues to be a popular choice of play for both professional and amateur theatre all round the world.
With the music from the Kinks, Zombies and the Animals as the action opens we are soon taken to the sixties for an updated version staring Tom Chambers star of Strictly Come Dancing, playing the charismatic but creepily manipulative Tony Wendice and Diana Vickers, who readers may remember from her 2008 semi-finalist appearance on the X Factor plays the role of Margot Wendice, the unfaithful wife who from early in on the play is destined to have a very troubled future.
The setting is a swish upmarket apartment in which a bizarre number of phone calls lead into a rather complicated story line including lost letters, lies and of course a not unsurprising murder.
The play gets complicated when Tony Wendice becomes tangled in the net of his own making calling on an old school pal the shady Swann played by Christopher Harper who also plays the part of a very funny Inspector Hubbard.
The action moves swiftly from a murder to finding out ‘Who done it’ in the second half. The plot keeps the action moving from a thriller to a comedy with Christopher Harper playing a sort of English Columbo to great effect.
Like all Hitchcock, it's full of twists and turns and is a very entertaining night out.
Look out for it if it ever comes our way again.