DIAL M for Murder is very engaging.

There, that's my best pun used up in the opening paragraph of this review.

A bit like the opening of this play using its ace card, we find out very early on who is the prime suspect of the telephone-centred plot.

The fun comes in putting together the pieces of the jigsaw.

You almost feel as if the central character Tony Wendice will break the fourth wall as he is bursting in smug self-esteem.

Written in the 1950s, this famous play was adapted into an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

Here it is set in the '60s, whch explains the music of The Kinks and The Zombies playing over the speakers as you enter the auditorium and see a swish, up-market London apartment set.

This brand new production is finally on its UK tour after being put on hold in 2020 following the pandemic.

Now fans of the thriller mysteries can enjoy a clever crime detection drama featuring a balanced amount of comedic elements. Director Anthony Banks provides some tactical light relief amid the skullduggery.

A cast of four faces from stage and TV do well in setting the first half's dialogue-heavy scene-setting onto its soaring second half.

Tom Chambers (pictured below) star of Strictly Come Dancing, plays the charismatic but creepily manipulative Wendice, a jaded ex-tennis pro who wants revenge in a game, set and match outcome.

Wirral Globe:

Diana Vickers (pictured, below), a West Ender and X-Factor finalist plays the two- timing yet frail wife Margot, who is having an affair with working class murder writer Max (Michael Salami from Hollyoaks).

Wirral Globe:

Tony becomes more tangled in the net of his own making calling on an old scool pal the shady Swann - played by Christopher Harper (Coronation Street) to help him in a cunning plan.

Christopher (pictured, below also plays Inspector Hubbard - a Northern copper with dubious detecton methods and an uncanmy similarity in looks and mannerisms of a young Eric Morecambe. He deserves his own telly series - an English Columbo.

Wirral Globe:

The two-hour 20 minute production packs a lot in and there is a lot of plot evidence for the with audience to ponder over. Here's a clue - listening is the key.

It's full of twists and turns and even a track from The Beatles' Revolver album makes an appearance.

Dial M for Murder is a highly entertaining drama: a genre that will never die out.

Globe verdict Killer thriller.

Four Stars.

The production is on until Saturday: Tickets from box office on 0151 709 4776.