Dial M for Murder at Bath

ONE of the all-time classic thrillers, Frederick Knott’s Dial M for Murder, comes to Bath’s Theatre Royal from 11th to 15th February as part of a nationwide tour, starring television and stage stars Tom Chambers and Sally Bretton.

When charismatic and manipulative Tony Wendice (Chambers), a jaded ex-tennis pro, discovers his wife Margot (Bretton) has been unfaithful, his mind turns to revenge and the pursuit of the “perfect crime.” But he underestimates the power of human error and becomes more and more tangled in a web of his own making. The play is seen as a masterclass in suspense, guaranteed to keep audiences on the edge of their seats with its chilling twists.

Tom Chambers is a familiar television face from roles including Sam Strachan in Holby City and Casualty, Max Tyler in Waterloo Road and Inspector Sullivan in Father Brown. He won the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2008. Recent stage performances have included White Christmas and Top Hat in the West End and the UK tour of Crazy For You.

Sally Bretton’s many television appearances include Lucy in Lee Mack’s long-running BBC comedy series Not Going Out, Donna in Ricky Gervais’s The Office and Kim Alabaster in Green Wing. In the West End, she starred as Lady Chiltern in An Ideal Husband, which was at the Theatre Royal Bath in 2018. Other theatre credits include King Lear, The Front Line and In Extremis at Shakespeare’s Globe.

The cast also features Christopher Harper (Coronation Street, Endeavour) in the dual roles of Captain Lesgate and Inspector Hubbard and Michael Salami (Hollyoaks, Just A Couple) as Max Halliday, Margot’s American lover.

Dial M for Murder was Frederick Knott’s first stage play, made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic 1954 film, for which Knott also wrote the screen-play. The film starred Ray Milland, Grace Kelly and John Williams. Like the character of Tony Wendice, Frederick Knott was an exceptionally talented tennis player. Dial M For Murder premiered in 1952 as a BBC television play, before being performed on stage that year in the West End and on Broadway. Knott’s other plays include Wait Until Dark, filmed in 1967 starring Audrey Hepburn.

Photographs by Manuel Harlan.