Almost from the off, the audience knows ‘Who-dunnit?’ in this unusual murder mystery.
Instead the question we’re left pondering is more that of ‘Who’ll get the blame?’
It’s a surprisingly light tale for one which is probably best known for its Alfred Hitchcock movie telling, and there’s almost a sense of bedroom farce as the action takes place in the smart London flat that’s home to Tony and Sheila Wendice (Oliver Mellor and Terri Dwyer).
Her ex-lover Max (Marcus Hutton) has returned from overseas, but little do they realise Tony’s known of their affair all the time - setting up his own mischievous game to get his hands on her money.
Adding blackmail to the charge card, Tony draws in an old school ‘pal’ to set up the ‘perfect’ murder of his wife, in this well-constructed plot, featuring just the right amount of plot twists and turns but perhaps lacking in a little tension.
Coronation Street’s Dr Matt, Oliver Mellor plays the not-so-smart-as-he-imagines husband in great fashion, switching from bright and breezy to manipulative would-be murderer at whim, while Dwyer (ex-Hollyoaks actress and 60 Minute Makeover presenter) keeps a sense of balance as Sheila, never overstepping into melodrama as panic sets in and her world unravels.
John Hester as the canny Inspector Hubbard brings some humour to the proceedings, highlighting the ironies of the tale and almost mocking the genre.
While not edge-of-the-seat compelling, Dial M For Murder is engaging and draws you in to the very end.