I love a good murder mystery, so I was very excited to see one of my favourite local theatres, The People's Theatre in Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, staging 'Dial M for Murder'.
I've never seen the classic Alfred Hitchcock film, and I had no idea about the plot so this was an entirely new experience for me. Where I was expecting a golden age style whodunit, I was very shocked to see the story revealed almost immediately who the murderer was going to be, and instead became an innovative and surprising twist on the traditional genre.
The show was spectacularly produced, with a perfect set – the living room of the leading couple, making it feel suitably claustrophobic, and allowing the audience to be voyeurs on the private lives of the characters, and what happens behind closed, (and 'locked' doors). The set was perfectly designed for the detail of the plot, and also evoked that 'golden age' feel, along with the costumes.
As well as being full of drama, suspense and tension, the show brought light relief and humour through the brilliant detective, who voiced the audiences scepticism over the coincidences and conveniences that kept the plot going.
This was an atmospheric and compelling show, which was very well produced. I'm glad I saw this with no prior knowledge of the story as it really made the experience special.