Saturday, May 1, 2010


As a school goer I grew up reading the books of Agatha Christie and I also enjoyed all the various film versions of her novels, including the star-studded epics such as "Death On The Nile" and "Murder On The Orient Express". One of the first films I watched based on a Christie novel was "Ten Little Indians" which was originally called "Ten Little Niggers", but the title was adjusted for obvious reasons. The film version I remember the most was from 1945 and was also retitled "And Then There Were None". I was delighted back in 2006 when Bill Kenwright launched The Agatha Christie Theatre Company. This venture aimed to mount a different production every year with a cast of familar faces. The first production was a lesser known play "The Hollow" and it starred one of my favourite femme fatales, Kate O'Mara, who I have seen many times over the years and will feature her in different productions in future posts. This production was for the 2008 season and I flew to Glasgow to catch this performance on Saturday 28th June 2008. This play was originally performed in 1943 at the St Jame's Theatre in London's West End. Of all the versions that were filmed and performed, this production is the original adaptation by Agatha Christie, as it retains the original bleak ending of the novel. The classic storyline concerns a group of seven travellers invited to a secluded house and are eventually killed off one by one!  Among the cast members in the production was Mark Wynter, who in the 60's had been a pop star teen idol, with nine top twenty singles, hits including.."Venus In Blue Jean" and "Go Away Little Girl", similar to Cliff Richard. My mum had been a fan of his and as I was born in the 60's, she somehow got the inspiration to name me after Mr Wynter. He seemed amused and flattered when I told him this after the show! Mark after his pop career dried up, as where, turned to theatre and has appeared in many productions such as "Charlie Girl" with the legendary Cyd Charisse and Dora Bryan. He also appeared in the Tigon shocker "Haunted House Of Horror". Mark has appeared in every Christie production since 2007.  Other stars in the production included Jennifer Wilson, who is remembered for her role in the long running 70's series "The Brothers". Gerald Harper is best known for the cult series "Adam Adamant" and "Hadleigh", but his body of work has also included films such as "The Admirable Crichton", "Tunes of Glory", "The League Of Gentlemen" and "The Shoes Of The Fisherman". I will be meeting Gerald next weekend in Birmingham, will find out if he has any more Christie in the works!. Denis Lill has appeared in many films including, "The Eagle Has Landed", "Batman", "Empire of the Sun" and "Evita". On tv he has a regular role in the long running ITV series "The Royal" as well as classics such as "DR Who", "Rock Follies" and "Lillie".  Chloe Newsome was a regular "Coronation Street" star, playing Alec Gilroy's granddaughter Vicky, while Alex Fearns played the nasty wife beater Trevor in "Eastenders" and Peter Byrne is famous for appearances in "Dixon of Dock Green", "Bread" and "Blake's Seven"
All in all a diverse cast and as usual from this company a quality production. The latest play to get the Touring company treatment is "Witness for the Prosecution" and hopefully I will catch this in the Autumn.

Shown here are the flyer signed by Mark Wynter and a page from the program, photo of myself with Gerald Harper. ticket and ad from Glasgow.

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