There's nothing like a good murder — at least when it comes to keeping a theatre audience on the edge of its seats.

Hamilton Playbox will present the classic Dial M for Murder opening on Saturday.

Written by English playwright Frederick Knott, Dial M for Murder is a crime and suspense thriller from the early 1950s.

Its stage premier was in London's West End in 1952 followed shortly after on Broadway.


In 1954, it was turned into a crime mystery movie by the renowned master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.

In Hamilton, Dial M for Murder is a first for director Jason Wing and assistant director Jessica Eyeington.

Both have been active in Riverlea productions including roles in Frankenstein and Allegiance for Wing and in the musical 13 and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for Eyeington over the past couple of years.

The plot follows English professional tennis player Tony Wendice — played by Sebastian Byrne, who decides to 'knock off' his wealthy socialite wife when he finds she is having an affair — partly revenge and partly to secure his future with her money.

A plan is hatched and he enlists the help of a real-life crime novelist who becomes a centre piece in what could be a work of fiction — if it wasn't real. The plot thickens like congealing blood.

There is bribery and blackmail, fingerprints, a set of French doors and more twists than a corpse in its final throes.

The tale has a distinctly 1950s flavour and Dial M for Murder posed Playbox's players with challenges not seen for generations including using old-style dial telephone — a novelty to the young cast.

In contrast to several recent productions by Riverlea-based companies, Dial M for Murder has a small cast — just five.


Leading man Sebastian Byrne plays Tony Wendice and Margot Wendice is played by Mikayla Williamson, Mark Halliday by Bailey Harris, Inspector Hubbard by Glen Mathews and Captain Lesgate by Oliver Simpson.

This is a play for the thinking audience and had the cast enthralled during rehearsals, Wing said.

• Dial M for Murder, directed by Jason Wing and Jessica Eyeington, can be seen at Riverlea Theatre, 83 Riverlea Rd, Hamilton, October 12 to 26. Bookings: iTicket.