Review: Dial M for Murder at New Vic Theatre

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The New Vic Theatre plays host to Hitchcock’s masterpiece Dial M for Murder.

The widely renowned ‘whodunit’ ticks all the boxes of a crime thriller and has the audience on the edge of their seats.

Set in post-war Britain, ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice (William Ellis) is married to wealthy socialite, Sheila (Nicole Bartlett), who has had an affair with crime writer, Mark Halliday (Daniel Eaton).

Sheila sends the men off for a night out while she has an early night in.

However, the previous night Tony had planned with a former acquaintance to murder Sheila in order for him to receive her fortune.

Unfortunately for Tony, his plans turn awry and he is forced to come up with a new plan and cover his tracks.

Set in a single room, the tension is kept spine-tingly close as Detective Hubbard (Rob Heanley) gets closer and closer to the truth.

The use of smoke and sepia lighting takes the audience back to an earlier time adding the element of mystery.

With the added effect of the radio announcements provided by Robert Lister, this creates a nostalgic feel to the performance.

The costumes and props also add to the 1950s periodic drama as the swirling of Sheila’s dresses and the smoking pipe beautifully capture the classic glamour of the time.

The cast are fantastic, especially with Bartlett as the fragile and vulnerable Sheila and Ellis as her meticulous and cunning husband.

Whilst the first act takes a while to build the tension, the second act certainly delivers, especially when the persistent Brendan as Hubbard arrives.

The complex element of this story is that instead of the traditional whodunit drama, the performance looks into the psychology of the villain and learns how their mind works.

So what happens to these seemingly perfect middle class people? You’ll have to watch and find out, old boy!

Dial M for Murder runs at the New Vic theatre until May 20 and tickets are available on 01782 717962.

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