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Hitchcock thriller that's stood the test of time

Dial M for Murder, Rugby Theatre, March 3 -10.

The classic Hitchcock thriller Dial M for Murder, starring Grace Kelly and Ray Milland, had a huge impact on cinema audiences when it hit the big screen in 1954, yet it had been premiered on television in the UK two years earlier.

British playwright Frederick Knott wrote it for BBC television in 1952, an early example of TV drama, and it went on to play London's West End and Broadway before Hitchcock persuaded Knott to write the screenplay and turned it into one of the most successful 3D movies of all time.

Now the team at Rugby Theatre are to give the play its latest outing, and director Simon Burne believes it has lost none of its edge over the years.

"It might be set in 1952, but Dial M for Murder feels very modern with its themes of love triangles and domestic, physical and psychological violence. Set in one claustrophobic room, it has really stood the test of time. It's a very tense psychological thriller with twists and turns throughout, right up to the end of the last scene."

He believes the cast, which includes Lee Bunting as Tony, Tracey Seymour as his wife Sheila and Tom Browning as Captain Lesgate, has done it full justice.

"The cast have worked hard to build up the tension, while the fantastic backstage people have delivered an amazing set, brilliant costumes, excellent props of the right period and a fabulous lighting plot. It's going to be a rollercoaster, so climb on board and enjoy the ride."

Tickets from the theatre box office on 01788 541234 or on the website at

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