Dial M For Murder is best known for the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock film, despite its origins being that of English playwright Frederick Knott.
The new production of Frederick Knott’s stage and screenplay is directed by Anthony Banks. Although this particular version has been doing the circuit since early 2020, it has been a regular in theatres since the mid 50s.
However, this particular theatre production stands out. Those familiar with Frederick’s work will know that the playwright is renowned for his complex crime thrillers, which this one is not. Instead, it takes on Hitchcock’s style of a simple plot, which is relatively easy for audiences to follow. It is the simplicity of the plot that has allowed it to be the blueprint of modern thrillers such as this one.
When I say modern, I mean it is a slightly updated version set in the mid 60s. The stage itself focuses on a single scene, the Wendice’s living room, with off-stage attributes. These attributes, which I will not spoil, are subtle but enough to give the illusion of time passing that ultimately gives the performance a bigger stage presence, creating a world outside of what you can physically see. Decent productions do this very well and this one does a great job.
Tom Chambers (Top Hat, Strictly Come Dancing) stars as the jaded ex-tennis pro (Tony Wendice) who has given it all up for his wife Margot, played by Diana Vickers.
When he discovers she has been unfaithful his mind turns to revenge and the pursuit of the ‘perfect crime’.
Can he get away with it?
Despite this being a very linear storyline, there are a few twists and turns that will leave even the most eagled-eye viewer unawares, as Tony becomes more tangled in the web of his own making. This adds light humour to what is a serious subject, watching Tony jump through hoops as lie after lie builds.
Also starring Christopher Harper (Coronation Street), this ultimate masterclass in suspense is guaranteed to entwine you with its spine-chilling twists and turns. Dial M for Murder is the definitive seat-gripping drama that is not to be missed!