THEATRE REVIEW: Dial M for Murder – New Vic Theatre
4 May 2017 Theatre
“ Dial M for Murder” – by Frederick Knott . New Vic Theatre, Newcastle –under Lyme.
Not so much a whodunnit more a case of “how will he do it” Dial M for Murder is probably best known as a fifties Alfred Hitchcock film with Ray Milland and Grace Kelly in the starring roles ( ask your gran if you don’t know who they are).
The New Vic’s latest production is full of 50’s atmosphere with Home Service announcements (ask your gran again) between the scenes and a set which portrays a middle class living room of the period. A London pea soup fog descends in the first act to add to the atmosphere.
A little suspension of disbelief is needed regarding the set, as a plot which relies heavily on what happens to various keys has a set with no doors or locks…but it’s done very cleverly and really does work.
Without giving too much away the plot revolves around retired tennis player, Tony Wendice ( William Ellis) and his wish to kill off his wealthy and glamourous wife, Sheila ( Nicole Barnett) . She’s been having an affair with American crime writer, Max Halliday ( Daniel Easton) , and so revenge and money are at the heart of Tony’s plotting.
As part of his plot Tony uses his ex schoolmate Lesgate ( Rob Heanley), now a petty crook, to try to murder Sheila but things don’t exactly go to plan.
Enter stage left Inspector Hubbard (Paul Brendan) who, with a little help from Max, wants to see that the real murderer get his just desserts.
This isn’t a play full of tension but it is one where the audience wants the villain of the piece to be found out. William Ellis has just the right amount of villainy in the part but at the same time you can see why Sheila fell for him.
Daniel Easton makes a very good American crime writer but there could just a little more spark between him and Nicole Barnett given that their affair is one of the main motivations of the crime.
However with the dogged Paul Brendan on the case, the audience does get a satisfactory ending. But you’ll just have to go along to the New Vic to see what that is.
“Dial M for Murder” is at the New Vic Theatre, Basford Road, Newcastle under Lyme until Saturday May 20.
Tickets are from £14.00 to £23.50 Telephone 01782 717962
Written by Ian Corbishley – Hitmix Radio