DIAL M for Murder opened at the Dolman Theatre last night to a large and responsive audience. 

Originally it featured on the BBC in 1952; written by Frederick Knott, it moved to the stage before being made into the famous film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1954.

The story has stood the test of time; Tony Wendice decides to kill his wife, Sheila, after finding out she has had an affair with the murder mystery writer, Max Halliday, but he needs an alibi. Any thriller needs a detective, and cue Inspector Hubbard to investigate.

The set was spectacular, replicating the 1950s style and elegance perfectly. Key elements of the plot were incorporated effortlessly: the staircase just visible through the front door, the bedroom, the curtains and window in the lounge. With only one main set required, there were no scene changes, therefore the attention to detail could be focused on the main set of the Wendice’s home, and the set design/construction/prop crew deserve a special mention for their amazing work in this production.

Ros Jones-Griffiths portrayed the character of Sheila as an obedient and trustful wife, rather than the vulnerable woman seen in previous adaptations, but this worked well, especially when centred amongst the male-dominated cast: Jamie Jarvis (Wendice), Stuart Fouweather (Halliday), Dave Livingstone (Lesgate) and Jerry Grummit (Hubbard), who did a fine job of presenting a range of 1950s gentlemen. 

An engaging, enjoyable and nostalgic production that remains true to the original play.

Julie Benson