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Dial M for Murder

29th November 2021 - 4th December 2021

 

THE GENRE-DEFINING THRILLER FOR ALL TIME.

Can you ever get away with the perfect crime?

A brand-new production of the blueprint for the modern thriller, Dial M for Murder is back.

TV and stage favourite, Tom Chambers, (Top Hat, Strictly Come Dancing) stars as the charismatic and manipulative Tony Wendice, a jaded ex-tennis pro who has given it all up for his wife Margot, played by Diana Vickers, West End star (Little Voice), no.1 chart-topping recording artist and The X Factor finalist. When he discovers she has been unfaithful his mind turns to revenge and the pursuit of the ‘perfect crime’.

Made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s world-renowned film of 1950, the iconic Dial M for Murder will leave you spellbound as Tony becomes more tangled in the web of his own making. 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!

Please note that Diana Vickers will no longer be appearing for the Wednesday-Friday performances of Dial M for Murder. The role of Margot Wendice will be performed by Katy Allen on those days.

 

Age recommendation 12+. This production contains flashing lights.

Running Time: Approximately 1 hour 45 minutes, including one 20-minute interval.


“It’s a taut, acidly funny thriller”
The Guardian

“A precision-engineered delight” The Telegraph

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Details

Start:
29th November 2021
End:
4th December 2021
Event Categories:
, ,

Venue

Festival Theatre
Grange Road
Malvern, WR14 3HB

Other

Price:
Mon Eve & Wed Mat: £33.60, £31.36, £28, £24.64 & £21.28
Tues-Thurs Eve & Sat Mat: £35.84, £33.60, £30.24, £26.88 & £23.52
Fri & Sat Eves: £38.08, £35.84, £32.48, £29.12 & £25.76
Concessions £2 off
Members discounts apply
Prices include 12% booking fee
Show Times:
Monday 29th November to Saturday 4th December
Evenings at 7.30pm
Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm

Event Reviews

  • Richard Edmonds

    This is probably the most balletic production of this well-known whodunnit that we are likely to see for many years to come.

    The leading man is Tom Chambers, familiar to most people from a large variety of television appearances in well-known series, but if my memory serves me correctly, was not Mr Chambers
    also a proficient ballroom dancer? Whatever his background, here is an actor who endows part of the required movements of the principal character with all the grace of a ballet dancer. He crosses the rather chilly, utilitarian 1950s flat interior (evoking Heal's post-war designs maybe?) with a graceful leap and can "arrange" himself on a couch with all the grace of Nureyev at a press conference.

    How this suave, charming, verbally explicit chap can arrange the cold-blooded murder of his wife is a thought to ponder on. But he can and he does with a certain cold enjoyment, therefore we need have no illusions about Tony Wendice, he is planning destruction with an eye on the mega-bucks in his wife's bank account which he hopes will come his way.

    There is, of course, a pleasant police officer who seems to be there eventually just to ask a few innocuous questions, that is after things go badly awry and the victim (Wendice's wife) turns the tables on her attacker and kills him in self defence, a death Wendice had not put into his master plan.

    The detective is played by Christopher Harper with a certain dry relish ( and not a few balletic movements which makes me wonder if someone from the Royal Ballet was not brought in along the way to give a certain something to a faded old play). The scenes between Chambers and Harper are sharply-etched and raised the atmosphere of the play considerably, and atmosphere is what whodunnits like this are what it's all about.

    Diana Vickers plays the ill-fated wife, who should have parted from Wendice years before we see her here as the soon to be murdered victim of a deadly outrage. But most of what Ms Vickers was saying for at least ten minutes into the play (and frankly later especially when she turns up-stage) was completely lost.

    I have said it before in these columns and now I say it again -- the tones of ordinary conversation do not work on stage particularly in a large theatre. Once again it was happening here, thus from certain actors (and at crucial moments) we heard nothing but incoherent mumbling. It is imperative that actors use voice projection thus reaching out to the back of the auditorium, otherwise audiences simply do not get their money's worth. Mr Chambers and Mr Harper seemed to have understood this perfectly, but the director, Anthony Banks needs to spend a little time on vocal delivery with other cast members in order to prevent audience frustration, after all, a play unheard is no play at all.

  • Les

    A Very Enjoyable Play with several twists and Turns on the way keeping you guessing with a Very Strong Cast Who played there parts Beautifully Tom Chambers was great as Tony Wendice.
    Diane Vickers Excelled as Margot on the Emotional Department
    A Must See For Me

  • The View From The Stalls

    Frederick Knott's "Dial 'M' For Murder" is certainly a play which has come full circle. Written just after World War Two, the script flopped when, as a three-act play, it was offered up to theatre managers. No-one wanted it and it took an adaptation by the BBC in 1951 for it to see the light of day. This was followed in 1954 by probably its most famous incarnation as a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. And now, in a tour delayed from last year due to the pandemic, it is back on the road in theatres.

    This production takes place in 1963 and is performed on a single set, that of Tony and Margo Wendice's Maida Vale flat. Tom Chambers (from Top Hat and Strictly Come Dancing) plays Tony, a past his sell-by date tennis player who is aware of his wife's infidelity and sets in motion what he thinks is the perfect murder. Margot, his wife, is played by Diane Vickers in some performances and Katy Allen in others (Dec 1st to 3rd). Also in the cast are Michael Salami, his wife's love interest who has been working in America on a one year contract which has just ended, thus allowing him to return to the UK and resume the affair, and Christopher Harper who takes on the dual roles of Captain Lesgate (Wendice's unexpected accomplice) and Inspector Hubbard.

    Moving the period to the 1960's allows the show to have some recognisably period furniture and curtains from that era as well as a record player with a shelf of vinyl LP's and Coronation Street's Mrs Sharples on TV (something which Harper himself has also been in). But just as importantly, it allows mention of the death penalty which was still in force when the original production first saw the light of day and when this one takes place. Ruth Ellis had been hanged in 1955 - would there be another woman added to the list…? It was, of course, down to Inspector Hubbard to discover the truth.

    Whilst the husband's perfect murder begins to unravel before his very eyes, it is the dogged determination of Inspector Hubbard and his attention to detail (plus his estimated time of two minutes to arrive at the scene of the crime - those were the days!) that takes up the second act. Harper is unrecognisable as the actor who had already played Captain Lesgate and his portrayal of the detective is both convincing and humorous (with a little bit of Columbo and Elvis thrown in for good measure!).

    The audience obviously knows whodunit from the moment the murder happens - the trick in this thriller is keeping the audience in suspense and wondering whether the killer will finally be unmasked in time. There is certainly plenty for the audience to enjoy here, from the acting to the updated set and script, it is certainly a show well worth venturing out into the cold for.

  • Pauline

    We left at the half time interval which I think says it all, we were not the only ones
    Tom Chambers was completely wasted in this very mediocre play far too much posturing left you with no interest in whether anyone was murdered or not
    Maybe the other reviewers saw a different product!


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