Dial M for Murder Review

Salisbury Playhouse – until 14 March 2020

Reviewed by Jo Gordon


 Frederick Nott’s Dial M for Murder has been around in many guises since 1952, all of which have passed me by so I was keen to see why this production has remained popular for so long. Originally set in the 50’s Director Anthony Banks has given it a nudge into the 60’s which seemed to please those in the audience who have followed it from birth.

The story tracks just five characters in one setting, a modern London pad owned by Tony and Margot Wendice (Tom Chambers and Sally Bretton). Tom has discovered Margots affair with writer Max Halliday (Michael Salami) and comes up with a plan to carry out the perfect murder on his wife. He blackmails old schoolfriend Captain Lesgate  into carrying out the deed. Despite precise planning over a number of months it doesn’t go quite to plan and Margot survives but Lesgate suffers a quick demise. Enter Inspector Hubbard (Christopher Harper), who runs absolute circles around Tony and his stories to set Margot up for the death penalty in pursuit of financial gain. Will he get to the truth?

Tom plays the charming sociopath that is Tony beautifully, showing us just how his dark mind works and his capabilities to try and turn everything to his favour while Sally’s Margot has nothing but trust in him despite loving another man.

For me, the star of the show was Christopher as Inspector Hubbard, his sharp wit and a dry sense of humour added needed lift to the production with perfect comical mannerisms drawing a chuckle from the audience.

The set was perfect, in fact I wanted to lift it all and place it in my own abode as even though the aim was to depict the 60’s its bang on trend currently which is maybe it felt more fresh and modern in my mind.

I have a feeling I may have been part of a tiny minority in a sold out theatre that had no clue how it would end so tried to stay away from interval rumblings for fear of ruining that, however I only heard good things from the masses about its current reincarnation. With nothing else to compare it to I could view it without any predispositions and thoroughly enjoyed it. A true cat and mouse thriller, a definite must see!