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Dial M For Murder, Theatre Royal Glasgow - 24th-28th June 2014

Published by: Jon Cuthbertson on 26th Jun 2014 | View all blogs by Jon Cuthbertson

Dial M For Murder is a very tightly written thriller that has everything you’d want in a night of theatre; drama, suspense, tension, comedy and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing all the way through.

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Daniel Betts leads the cast as Tony Wendice, disillusioned ex-tennis player whose “model marriage” is not going well. Mr Betts commands his audience throughout and even in his characters most odious moments, he manages to evoke some sympathy. Kelly Hotten has the 50s glamour and her tone and delivery seems to be so naturally “period” in the role of his wife, Sheila, that you are easily transported back to a time without mobile phones, making the trademarked “red phone” so important to the plot. Philip Cairns as Sheila’s ex-lover, Max, has warmth and the chemistry between him and Ms Hotten ideally sets up their character’s affections. Completing the set up for the Murder of the title, was Robert Perkins as the aliased Captain Lesgate. In only a few scenes he manages to make a great impact with his strong delivery and confidence. Completing the cast was the headliner, Christopher Timothy. As a very Columbo-like Inspector, his natural delivery made you easily believe that any criminal/victim would open up to him, but you were also keenly aware of the sharpness of his mind.


With these excellent performances, we were easily assured of a great production, however director Lucy Bailey seems to have went for style over substance. With a revolving central area to the stage, the minimalist set of a couch and desk would rotate as the actors walked through and around them. As the door of the flat was a permanent fixture on the centre of the back wall, the orientation of the room changed various times with no purpose or reference at all (apart from a rather poor “in joke” referring to the police “turning the furniture around”). All this served to do was detract from the actors who were delivering very solid performances. It is a shame that the director couldn’t rely on both her own and their work to provide decent results as this tampering was the only fault within the production.  Lighting and sound design were used to a great effect and did add to the drama and tension on the stage. Combining these with Philip d’Orléans dramatic fight direction creates a highlight of the production.


Ignoring the rather poorly thought out revolve, this is a production worth seeing. Frederick Knott’s script is delivered very well by a strong cast and the suspense more than surpasses the film versions of this classic story. Dial now for tickets!!

Listing Information


TUES 24 – SAT 28 JUNE                 

Evenings: 7.30pm                                            

Matinees: Thurs & Sat at 2.30pm (bkg)

0844 871 7647 (bkg)




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