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There is something rather comforting about classic crime thrillers from the days before forensic science took the fun out of finding out whodunnit.
In a world of advanced criminal investigation, rampant social networking and above all mobile phones, Dial M For Murder could not have existed. The clue after all is in the title.
Happily this excellent production by talking Scarlet whisks the audience back to the 1950s for a gentle slow-burning tale of jealously, greed, blackmail and murder.
This revival of Frederick Knott’s beautifully structured play – perhaps best known from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film version – is played with a deft hand. It is both nostalgic and fascinating as the plot twists and turns.
Despite some slightly eccentric sound design, it delivers all you could ask for and perhaps a little more. The packed house at the Lighthouse Theatre last night loved every moment.
Featuring some well-known telly faces, Dial M for Murder focuses on Coronation Street’s Oliver Mellor as washed up tennis star Tony Wendice who is convinced that his wealthy wife Sheila (Terri Dwyer from Hollyoaks) is having an affair.
Consumed by jealousy and a desire to inherit her fortune, he plots the perfect murder but despite precision planning things take a decidedly unexpected turn.
Under director Patric Kearns, Knott’s darkly gripping thriller takes you through a series of twists and nerve-jangling turns as Tony plans to shift the blame. But does he succeed? I can only suggest that you go and see the play which concludes today (Saturday 23rd March ) with two more performances at 2.30pm and 7.45pm