Review Dial M For Murder

12
March
2020

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Murder

 



Review Dial M For Murder, Salisbury Playhouse

The tale of love, lies, blackmail, letters, murder and latch keys. Yes you’ve probably all seen and loved the 1954 film, but it was the 1952 stage play that came first.

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Won’t spoil it if you haven’t seen it (and judging from the loud gasps in the audience, it would seem many haven’t…) basically Tom wants to bump off his wife after discovering a letter, etc etc.

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(Will it EVER end?)

Unlike the 11 in the film, there are only 4 cast members in the play… the instantly recognisable Tom Chambers (Tony Wendice), Michael Salami (Max Halliday), Christopher Harper (Captain Lesgate / Inspector Hubbard) who gets more than a fair share of humour – and the brilliant Sally Bretton (Margot Wendice).

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More on Sally below, but this play was superbly handled by all four; with careful direction there is also much more to experience than the film.

I dare you not to be moved when Tom sits there and all you can hear is the ticking clock. Just fantastic.

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As is the lighting, costumes and the set. Yes, the set was stunning, with huge attention paid to 60s detail. But I couldn’t understand why the stage itself that the said set was on seemed so far back from the audience – and I wasn’t that far back in the auditorium.

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Also on a point of accuracy – and much as I LOVED hearing ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ – surely that was released in 1966? This particular version of the play is set in 1963…?

However, the performances were great, especially from Sally Bretton (Margot Wendice). I loved her demeanour throughout, as a wife, lover and (almost) murder victim.

The images below sum up precisely her part in all this… firstly when she doesn’t know what’s going on – and then her despair and anger when she realises exactly what has happened.

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(Caught. All over now, matey… )

On at the Playhouse until Saturday 14 March.

Kevin Gover