A shock of blood red curtain, a stark shaft of light and the nervous ringing of a telephone: these are the key motifs of this sharp and stylish production of Dial M for Murder.

Although famous as a Alfred Hitchcock film it hit the stage before celluloid; the tightly written story shines through in both versions.

Kelly Hotten dazzles as Sheila Wendice, sometime unfaithful wife to the calculating, jealous Tony (Daniel Betts). Philip Cairns is her politely lustful former lover.

Robert Perkins is a perfect pot of sleazy charm as the unwilling accomplice to a murder, and Christopher Timothy is the methodical policeman charged with unravelling the complicated case.

Lucy Bailey’s direction and Mike Britton’s design match each other deliciously, lushly evoking the post-war setting and building tension through the piece. Mic Pool’s sound design is devastatingly disturbing during the protracted struggle of the central scene.

A tightly-wound and deadly sophisticated piece.