|Edinburgh : A&E : Theatre : Reviews|
Playwright – Agatha Christie.
Director – John Durnin.
Set Designer – Adrian Rees.
Lighting Designer – Ace McCarron.
Costume Designer – Anya Glinski.
Company - Pitlochry Festival Theatre Company Company Website.
Cast - here .
Venue - Pitlochry Festival Theatre
In Rep 2006 Dates and Times - here .
Run Time - 2 hours 45 with two intervals
Reviewer - Vivien Devlin.
Captures the spirit of Christie.
It’s a phenomenal fact – Agatha Christie is the best selling novelist of all time, her books only outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her detective stories, featuring nasty murders and intricate plots set between the wars in country houses and quiet villages are beloved world wide. Television dramatisations of Miss Marple and Poirot stories are frequently screened while The Mousetrap premiered in 1952, is the longest running play in the West End.
Following the success of an excellent PFT production of The Hollow in 2002, it’s a great privilege for the company to be invited to stage the European premiere of Chimneys by the Agatha Christie Estate. The play was due to be staged in 1931 (starring Laurence Olivier) but was cancelled; 70 years later the script was mysteriously found and the world premiere staged in Canada in 2003.
The play is adapted from Christie’s sixth novel The Secret of Chimneys, published in 1924, a racy thriller with a multifarious plot not unlike the international espionage adventures by John Buchan. Christie was a world traveller and enjoyed creating exotic, European char acters at a time when foreigners were rare in Britain. Anthony Cade, a well educated young Englishman, having worked overseas in the Colonies, has just returned to London from Kenya. Invited to deliver secret memoirs to a publisher, leads him on an investigative trail to a country manor, Chimneys, the aristocratic home of Lord Caterham and his chirpy daughter Bundle. The storyline involves blackmail, political intrigue, royalist conspiracy in a Balkan country, Herzoslovakia, missing black diamonds, a French detective and Superindendent Battle of Scotland Yard. Oh, and of course, a murder in Act One.
Director John Durnin captures the spirit of Christie’s distinctive upper class English world with both gentle respect and tongue-in-cheek humour. This is, at its heart, a comic mystery, stuffed with typical stock characters. Martyn James as a pompous politician, the Hon. George Lomax, leads an entertaining ensemble with Darrell Brockis as Cade, the dashing romantic lead, and the delightful Flora Berkeley (unbelievably her first professional role out of college) as the sweet and innocent, Virginia. The set of the grand chamber and library at Chimneys as well as the costumes - Country tweeds, detective’s homburg hat and raincoat and glamorous evening gowns – all create an authentic 1920s setting. A packed house on opening night seemed thrilled and highly amused with this “new” Agatha Christie play which is sure to draw fans from far and wide.
©Vivien Devlin, 2 June, 2006 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Cast - Tredwell - Jonathan Battersby, Lemoine - Jonathan Coote, Old lady - Jacqueline Dutoit, Lord Caterham - Robin Harvey Edwards, Lady Eileen Brent - Michele Gallagher, The Hon George Lomax - Martyn James, Bill Eversleigh - Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Anthony Cade - Darrell Brockis, Virginia Revel - Flora Berkeley, The Stranger - Richard Addison, Superintendent Battle - Ronnie Simon, Herbert Banks - Matthew Lloyd Davies and Boris Anchoukoff - Richard Galazka.
2006 Dates of Pitlochry Festival Theatre's production of Chimneys .
Run in Rep from 1 June to 19 Oct.
1 June* at 2pm & 8pm, 5 June at 8pm, 8 June at 8pm, 12 June at 8pm, 17June* at 8pm, 20 June at 2pm, 21 June at 2pm, 23 June at 8pm, 28 June* at 8pm..
1 July* at 2pm, 4 July at 8pm, 5 July* at 8pm, 7 July at 8pm, 15 July* at 8pm, 21 July at 8pm, 26 July* at 8pm, 29 July* at 8pm.
1 August at 8pm, 2 August* at 2pm, 7 Aug at 8pm, 12 Aug* at 2pm, 16 Aug* at 8pm, 19 Aug* at 8pm, 25 Aug at 8pm.
2 September* at 8pm, 8 Sept at 8pm, 14 Sept* at 8pm, 19 Sept at 8pm, 20 Sept* at 2pm, 27 Aug* at 8pm, 28 Aug* at 2pm..
2 October at 8pm, 7 Oct* at 2pm, 14 Oct* at 8pm, 18 Oct* at 8pm, and final performance 19 Oct* at 2pm.
Theatre Editor, Thelma Good's e-mail is email@example.com
Although every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in these pages, no responsibility can be accepted for any errors or omissions.