Dial M For Murder, the Playhouse, Liverpool.
IN this day and age, a mobile phone would take the place of the classic red version we see on stage in this wonderfully-paced crime thriller Dial M for Murder.
The Hitchcock film is long-regarded as a highlight of the thriller genre - dialogue and plot twists and turns making great cinematic bedfellows.
In the right directorial hands - here Lucy Bailey and designer Mike Britton - it still works in theatres.
Who did it? Why did they do it? Where did they do it? When did they do it? And - ultimately. - what did they gain from the dastardly deal?
The five Ws provide the answer. Writer Frederick Knott unravels the scheming. All this sleuthing around gave me a reviewer's headache -figuring it all out.
But, along the way came Christopher Timothy as Inspector Hubbard...the detective who was my paracetamol - so to speak.
He had to vet the suspects including Kelly Hotten's sultry Sheila.
His mild-mannered questioning was handy, coming from the actor who became a household-name in All Creatures Great and Small.
This touring production is slick and beautifully-performed by a cast of seven.
Murder mysteries are a great theatrical tradition and I look forward to Robert Powell as Poirot in November at the New Brighton Floral Pavilion.
You can give away too much in a whodunit review, but I must give special reference to a swishing curtain...yes, drapery plays a part like a silent witness to the proceedings.
Dial M For Murder is a serious piece of drama that will keep you guessing to the end.
This is the type of show that is timeless.
A two-hour period piece with costumes and props to match as elegance shines through in every lovingly -created detail.
Globe verdict: 8/10. Engaging.
The run at the Playhouse ends tomorrow, Saturday, March 8 - Twelfth Night opens at the Everyman that same night.
Box office: 0151 709 4776.