May 10, 2017

Dial "M" for Murder



It's thriller season at the Indiana Repertory Theatre this month. Dial "M" for Murder is currently on the mainstage and suspense is the name of the game. Some may be familiar with Alfred Hitchcock’s film version of the play or even the 1998 remake, “A Perfect Murder”, but for those in the dark, the plot will be even more interesting.

A young couple in 1950s London is not quite as happy as they may first appear. Soon the audience discovers that the husband is plotting his wife's murder. Matt Mueller plays the malevolent husband Tony. He’s cold and calculating, but still the eternal British gentleman. He’s decided he wants his wife’s money and has no qualms about killing her to get it. Robert Neal provides a great foe as Chief Inspector Hubbard.
The set, designed by Kate Sutton-Johnson, is gorgeous period piece. The 1950s apartment has a classic feel, with vintage furniture and luscious wallpaper. One odd element was the decision to project images on the back wall during phone calls. Each time a character made a phone call, close ups of the person on the other end of the line were shown, which was distracting and immediately takes you out of the action. It disrupted the flow of the play, providing a jarring reminder that the scene in front of you is staged.

The show is well-plotted, but those expecting gasps at every turn will be disappointed. Dial “M” has a slow burn approach to the thriller genre. It’s murder presented as a chess game rather than a high-speed chase.

Don't Miss the Show 
The Indiana Repertory Theatre is located at 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, one-half block west of the Circle Center Mall between northbound Illinois St. and southbound Capitol Ave. Dial "M" for Murder runs until May 21 on IRT's One America Mainstage. To purchase tickets or find performance times, call (317) 635-5252 or order online at www.irtlive.com.

2 comments:

accidentalstoic said...

I had no idea that “A Perfect Murder” was a remake of Dial M. My theatre knowledge is severely lacking. Someday, I'll work on correcting this. At the moment, I want to watch a lot of (and learn a lot about) classic films, as I can probably count on my fingers the number of "golden era" movies I've seen.

Melissa Hall said...

accidentalstoic - I love classic films! I feel like Hitchcock movies, and other thrillers from the '50s do a much better job building suspense with the less is more mentality.