Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" at Gielgud from 14 Oct 2005

Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" at Gielgud from 14 Oct 2005

It is now confirmed that the Agatha Christie thriller And Then There Were None, in a new version adapted by Kevin Elyot, will open at Gielgud Theatre 25 Oct 2005, following previews from 14 Oct 2005.

The cast includes Graham Crowden (General Macarthur), Tara Fitzgerald (Vera Claythorne), Richard Johnson (Justice Wargrave), Gemma Jones (Emily Blunt)

It is directed by Steven Pimlott and is produced in London by Act Productions, Nelle Nugent, Michael Gardner and Karl Sydow.

During the summer of 1938 as the shadow of war looms over Europle, ten strangers, with apparently nothing in common, are lured to an exclusive island retreat by the mysterious U.N. Owen. Over dinner a recorded voice accuses each guest of hiding a guilty and terrible secret. That evening one of the party is found murdered, and the tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them, but is preparing to strike again... and again...

"A compelling and un-compromising new adaptation of Christie’s intriguing morality play. More than just a whodunit, the story is one of the most carefully planned of Christie's mysteries; she herself considered the plot 'near-impossible'. Contemporary, and indeed timely, the play sets out Christie’s hope for the future of humanity and is her richest exploration of the nature of justice."

Christie’s original piece, which was based on her 1939 novel, premiered in London at the St James Theatre four years later. The ‘Queen of Crime’ Agatha Christie is the most popular novelist in the world. With total sales of 2 billion books (and 4 million a year selling in the 21st Century) she is outranked only by Shakespeare and the Bible. Her masterpiece 'And Then There Were None' remains her best-selling individual title in the UK.

Tara Fitzgerald film credits include “Five Children and It”, “I Capture The Castle”, “Brassed Off” and “Sirens”. On television she has been seen recently in “Miss Marple – Body In The Library” and also in “Love Again”, “The Student Prince”, “Anglo-Saxon Attitudes” and “The Camomile Lawn”. Amongst her theatre credits are ‘Blanche Dubois’ in “A Streetcar Named Desire” at the Bristol Old Vic, ‘Angela Caxton’ in “Our Song”, in London and ‘Ophelia’ in “Hamlet” at the Almeida Theatre and on Broadway, for which she won the New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Gemma Jones' West End credits include "The Master Builder" at the Haymarket in 1996; "Tolstoy" at the Aldwych in 1996; "Battle Royal" at the Lyttelton, NT in 1999; "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof" at the Lyric in 2001. Her film work includes playing Bridget’s ‘Mum’ in both “Bridget Jones’ Diary” films, ‘Madame Pomfrey’ in “Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets”, ‘Lady Queensbury’ in “Wilde” and ‘Mrs Dashwood’ in Ang Lee’s “Sense and Sensibility”. She also plays the regular character “Jean Mullins” in Lynda La Plante’s hit TV series “Trial & Retribution”.

Richard Johnson's West End credits include "Mrs Warren's Profession" at the Strand in 2002; "Tales from Hollywood" at the Donmar Warehouse in 2001; "Plenty" at the Albery in 1999; "Uncle Vanya" at the Albery in 1996; "An Inspector Calls" at the Aldwych in 1994; "The Rivals" at the Albery in 1994.

Graham Crowden's West End credits include "The Magistrate" at the Savoy in 1997; "Blinded by the Sun" at the Cottesloe, NT in 1996; "Richard II" at the Cottesloe, NT in 1995.

Interesting facts concerning Agatha Christie........

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Agatha Christie is the best-selling fiction author of all-time with an estimated two billion copies of her works sold. Her books have been translated in over 50 languages and it is often said that she has been outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare.

Agatha Christie is also the nation’s favourite spoken book author. In 2002, 117,696 Christie audiobooks were sold, compared to 97,755 for JK Rowling, 78,770 for Roald Dahl and 75,841 for JRR Tolkein.

Agatha Christie is still the most borrowed mystery author from Britain’s public libraries and ranks as one of the top 10 most borrowed authors, clocking up more than one million loans in 2002-2003.

As an example of her broad appeal, Christie is the all-time best-selling author in France, with over 40 million copies sold in French (as of 2003) versus 22 million for Émile Zola, the nearest contender.

She wrote 80 novels and short story collections as well as 19 plays. Christie also penned six romance novels (under the name of Mary Westmacott), two books of poetry, a children's book, and two autobiographical works. Christie managed to write an average of two novels a year through most of her life.

In 2000 Agatha Christie was voted Best Writer of the Century and her Poirot books were named Best Series of the Century at the 31st Boucheron World Mystery Convention.

And Then There Were None marked the first time Agatha Christie adapted one of her own books for the stage. It was also the first of Christie’s works to be adapted for television. The BBC play went out live on 20 August 1949.

Agatha Christie is one of the best-selling authors in Japan. The Japanese film director Kon Ichikawa is an impassioned admirer of Agatha Christie, whom he thought should have been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Ichikawa has often written screenplays under the pen name "Kuri Shitei" (Christie), borrowed from his favorite writer.

The first animated television series based on Agatha Christie’s writings recently aired in Japan. “Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple” was broadcast in primetime on the popular entertainment network, NHK1.

A tattered copy of a long-lost Agatha Christie play – never performed at the time – was found in Canada. ‘Chimneys’, written in 1931, received its world premiere in Calgary in 2003.

On average 97 per cent of adults in the UK say they know of Agatha Christie. One third say they have read at least one Christie novel; more than half have seen an Agatha Christie film.

The contemporary crime writer Ian Rankin told an interviewer: “The thing about Agatha Christie is she has done it all. She has got books where everybody did it, nobody did it, the narrator did it, every possible eventuality. Christie was the beginning and the end of the crime novel. People thought she had played all the tricks you could on a reader.”

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