Running in line with the Granite Noir festival this is a story of love and murder, set in 1963. Tony Wendice, played by Tom Chambers, finds out his wife Margot (Sally Bretton) has been having an affair; and so plots “the perfect crime”. Written by Frederick Knott as his first play, the story is well known from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie version in 1954.
The set, designed by David Woodhead, is the living room of their flat, in Maida Vale. Although all the action is in just one room it is cleverly directed, by Anthony Banks, so there is no feeling of being restricted by the solo location. Lighting, music and clever movement in and out of the room, keeps the interest going and shows the passing of time most effectively.
The cast work well together. As well as the couple, Michael Salami plays the boyfriend Max Halliday, and Christopher Harper plays both Captain Lesgate and Inspector Hubbard. Casting has been very well done with each actor suiting their role, Tony especially has some fabulous timing of pauses and carefully executed movements to fill the stage when he is the only one in the room. The Inspector also has some genius moments when he makes just such a noise that conveys his feelings on the discussion without him actually saying anything specific or explanatory.
The story unfolds through the dialogue of the different characters and the audience has to piece together how previous events have brought us to the current point – where Margot is actually introducing Max to Tom, although not disclosing the relationship they have been having. From there we are taken though some twists and turns that obviously cannot be divulged as no one likes a plot spoiler!
The tour continues to Edinburgh and then Glasgow before heading south to England and Wales and is well worth obtaining tickets for.
Dial M for Murder runs until Sat 22nd February at His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen