Classic murder story on stage

Chichester’s Christopher Timothy will be offering one of the highlights in the new season of shows at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

Christopher, who has lived in the Chichester area for many years, will lead the cast in Frederick Knott’s intense and darkly-gripping thriller Dial M for Murder (May 20-24), an erotic tale of betrayal, passion and, ultimately, murder.

Famously filmed by Alfred Hitchcock, the show kicks off its UK tour in February.

Tony is convinced his wife is having an affair.

We watch mesmerised at Tony’s precision in planning what must surely be the perfect murder… until it falters in the most unexpected way.

It will be directed by Lucy Bailey whose directing credits include The Postman Always Rings Twice starring Val Kilmer, the National Theatre’s West End transfer of Baby Doll as well as the recent critically-acclaimed RSC debut of Julius Caesar.

She was nominated for an Evening Standard award last year for Best Director for Timon of Athens at Globe.

Starting off the New Year, the Yvonne Arnaud presents a co-production double-bill of Alan Ayckbourn plays: the bittersweet comedy Time Of My Life (January 22-25 and February 1) and the world premiere production of Arrivals & Departures (January 28-February 1).

Next up, Guildford School of Acting present Grease (February 8-15); a 42-piece orchestra and a line-up of West End performers follow up with music from three of Broadway’s greatest composers: Jule, Jerry & Steve (February 16).

Adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, Kidnapped (February 19-20) is a gripping, fast-paced adventure tale for the whole family to enjoy.

Returning with two world-class operas, The Russian State Ballet and Opera House present Bizet’s Carmen (February 21) and Verdi’s La Traviata (February 22).

Kim Tiddy, Zoie Kennedy, Ciara Janson, Anita Graham, Ben Roddy and Philip Stewart star in Boeing Boeing (February 27-March 1), a whirl of mayhem and matchmaking.

Maggie Steed and Janet Dibley are next up, starring in a production of Diane Samuels’ award-winning classic, Kindertransport (March 3-8).

Starring Jenny Seagrove and Sara Crowe as best friends, Julia and Jane is a new production of Noël Coward’s comedy classic Fallen Angels (March 10-15).

Direct from the West End, Noises Off meets Faulty Towers in The Play That Goes Wrong

(March 17-22), a new hit comedy that sees accident-prone thesps battle on against the odds. Next, a new production, Liza Liza Liza (March 25-29) turns back the years and peels the veneer off one of Hollywood’s most compelling living icons, Liza Minnelli.

Bram Stoker’s timeless gothic thriller, Dracula (March 31-April 1) embodies the struggle to break taboos, resist temptation and stop the unknown outside becoming the enemy within.

Next, a bold new adaptation of Emily Brontë’s classic love story Wuthering Heights (April 3-5) explores a vivacious, contagious love, a passion that lives beyond death.

BAFTA award-winning Alistair McGowan stars as Henry Higgins alongside Rula Lenska and Jamie Foreman in a major new revival of Pygmalion (April 7-12), Shaw’s enduring masterpiece.

Jack Shepherd stars in Classic Ghosts (April 14-19), a double presentation of Charles Dickens’ unnerving tale The Signalman and M R James’ supernatural story Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come To You, My Lad.

Robert Powell is Poirot in a stylish new production of the Agatha Christie classic Black Coffee (April 22-26); and Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful (May 22-24) relives the life of Private Tommo Peaceful, a young First World War soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn.

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