Aquila Theatre present Murder on the Nile. Photo by Richard Termine.
PERFORM THE WORK OF AGATHA CHRISTIE
In addition to her work as the world’s best-selling novelist, Agatha Christie’s playwriting career spanned 42 years from the premiere of her first play in 1930 (Black Coffee) to the last she was personally involved with in 1972 (Fiddlers Three). After a two-year research project led by Agatha Christie Limited - which explored her work in circulation, revisited original manuscripts, and remastered existing plays - Samuel French is now proud to license the below titles in the newly expanded Agatha Christie Collection.
All of the plays in this unique Collection were written by Christie herself or by adaptors with whom she personally worked. You’ll find thrilling melodramas and classic whodunnits, as well as dark comedies and Christie’s only historical epic. Get to know the complete Collection in this introductory article.
Photo: ©Christie Archive Trust. AGATHA CHRISTIE is a registered trademark of Agatha Christie Limited. All rights reserved.
The Agatha Christie Collection now comprises of the following plays — all of which have been made available to perform:
*These titles are new additions to the Agatha Christie Collection.
FEATURES & INTERVIEWS
AGATHA CHRISTIE’S RADIO AND TELEVISION PLAYS
by Chris Chan
“Agatha Christie is well-known for writing for the page and the stage, but it is not common knowledge that she also wrote for radio and television as well. Recently, three radio plays and one television play by Christie have been published for the first time by Samuel French and made available for production…”
Great Roles in Agatha Christie’s Plays
by Chris Chan
“There are some classic roles that every performer wants to play, and every year dramatists create new parts that could launch the careers of some talented actors…Now, with the release of The [Agatha Christie] Collection series of plays - some of which were unavailable to the general public for decades - actors have an opportunity to embrace some exciting and challenging new roles. ”
The Stranger / Saratoga, US
WHO IS THE STRANGER?
by Mary Jane Hensen
“Was Enid Bradshaw a murderer? The question is certainly a point of heated debate in the newly released The Stranger (2017), which Dame Agatha Christie herself adapted for the stage from her short story Philomel Cottage.” (Note: article contains spoilers)
Murder in the Studio / London, UK
MURDER IN THE STUDIO: STAGING A RADIO PLAY
by Jenni Rushton and Keith Beattie
"We had great fun deciding what a 1950s radio studio would look like..."
An amateur theatre company shares an insight into their experiences of staging Agatha Christie’s Murder in the Studio.
Witness for the Prosecution / London, UK
LUCY BAILEY ON DIRECTING WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION
by Lyn Gardner
“I have a profound admiration for Agatha Christie,” says Bailey. “She can still hoodwink and outwit us, and she was way ahead of her time. She was fascinated by sex, violence and psychology, and you can still see her influence in the crime writing of today.”
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE COLLECTION:
AGATHA Christie’s LOST PLAYS
by Chris Chan
Most Christie fans are aware of her stage adaptations of And Then There Were None, Witness for the Prosecution, and The Mousetrap, as well as four plays based on Poirot novels (The Hollow, Appointment with Death, Go Back for Murder, and Murder on the Nile), an adaptation of Towards Zero, and her original play Verdict, as well as a few one-act plays in Rule of Three. Fewer people are perhaps aware that those Christie plays that have been available to read and produce for two generations comprise less than half of her total dramatic output.
THE COLLECTION: IN PHOTOS
Great Lakes Theater present And Then There Were None. Photo by Roger Mastroianni.
Peninsula Players present The Hollow.
Alley Theatre presents Spider’s Web. Photo by Lynn Lane.
Witness for the Prosecution, London. Photo by Alastair Muir.
About THE AUTHOR
Agatha Christie (1890-1976) is the world’s best-selling novelist: with her books having sold more than 2 million copies around the world, she’s outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her play The Mousetrap is also the longest-running stage production in theatre history.
Born in 1890 in Torquay, Devon, England, to an American father and English mother, she wrote her first play Black Coffee (the only play in which she chose to feature Poirot) in 1930 having been disappointed by the way The Murder of Roger Ackroyd had been adapted into Alibi in 1928. She adapted her bestselling novel And Then There Were None for stage in 1943, giving it a different ending, followed by, in quick succession, Appointment with Death (1945), Murder on the Nile (1946) and The Hollow (1951). With The Mousetrap (1952), Witness for the Prosecution (1953), and Spider's Web (1954), she became the only female playwright to have three plays running in the West End at the same time. Later plays include Towards Zero (1956) co-adapted with Gerald Verner, Verdict (1958) possibly her most unusual play, Go Back for Murder (1960), and Rule of Three (1962) a series of three one act plays. After a hugely successful career and a wonderful life, Ms. Christie died peacefully on 12 January 1976. You can read Agatha Christie's own account of her life in An Autobiography which was published after her death in 1977.
Agatha Christie Limited (ACL) has been managing the literary and media rights to Christie's works around the world since 1955, when the company was set up by Christie herself. ACL works with the best talent on stage, in film, television, publishing and on digital platforms to ensure that Christie’s work continues to reach new audiences in innovative ways and to the highest standard. The company is currently managed by Christie’s great grandson James Prichard.
Recent theatre collaborations include the critically-acclaimed Witness for the Prosecution at County Hall in London, working with Eleanor Lloyd Productions and Rebecca Stafford Productions. ACL also works closely with international theatre companies developing in-territory stage productions.
If you’re enjoying one of Agatha Christie’s plays — whether you’re reading the script or performing it on stage — then we’d love to see! Share your experiences with #AgathaChristie