Robert Powell Stars in Agatha Christie Theatre's BLACK COFFEE UK Tour, Beg. Today

Robert Powell Stars in Agatha Christie Theatre's BLACK COFFEE UK Tour, Beg. Today

The Agatha Christie Theatre Company is delighted to announce that one of Britain's most instantly recognisable actors Robert Powell is to star as Hercule Poirot in a new production of her first ever play Black Coffee.

The diminutive Belgian detective is set to get "the little grey cells" working in the latest production from the celebrated crime collective as the UK-wide tour opens at the Theatre Royal, Windsor today, January 7th 2014.

Robert Powell has received multiple awards and a BAFTA nomination for his portrayal of 'Jesus' in Franco Zefferelli's Jesus of Nazareth. Robert went on to star in numerous film hits including 39 Steps, Four Feathers and Shaka Zulu. His extensive stage performances include: Alan Bennett's Single Spies, Keith Waterhouse's Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell and Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Robert is supported by a heavy-weight cast including Agatha Christie Company regulars: LIZA GODDARD, star of such TV hits as Bergerac and the long-running Give Us A Clue, GARY MAVERS who is best known for playing heart-throb doctor Andrew Attwood in Peak Practice and BEN NEALON, perhaps best loved for his role as Capt Forsythe in the ITV drama Soldier Soldier.

A quintessential English country estate is thrown into chaos following the murder of eccentric inventor Sir Claud Amory, and the theft of his new earth shattering formula. Arriving at the estate just moments too late, one man immediately senses a potent brew of despair, treachery, and deception amid the estate's occupants. That man is Hercule Poirot.

From the pen of the great Dame Christie - (who, having sold over 2 billion books worldwide is outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare) - Poirot debuted in Christie's 1920 novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, making his first - and only - stage outing in the mistress of murder's debut play, Black Coffee.

The Belgian investigator went on to become one of world's most cherished and long-lived fictional characters, appearing in 33 novels, one play and more than 50 short stories published between 1920 and 1975. To this day he remains the only fictitious character to receive a front-page obituary in the New York Times.

His legend has proved ripe for adaptation and Poirot has been portrayed in comics, on radio and on screen for films and television, by actors such as Albert Finney, Sir Peter Ustinov, Sir Ian Holm, Alfred Molina and David Suchet who, of course, played the eponymous hero in the ITV series since 1989, through the entire catalogue of books and dozens of short stories. He recently bid audiences an emotional farewell as Series 13 of the classic series concluded with his demise in Christie's dramatic farewell, Curtain.

Mathew Prichard, Agatha Christie's grandson and chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd, said: "I am so pleased that Robert Powell has agreed to play Poirot in the Agatha Christie Theatre Co's production of Black Coffee starting in January. He will be the latest in a long line of distinguished actors to play the role, and a real treat lies in store in 2014 for all those around the country who go to see the play."

Intrigue and suspense form the back-bone of this classic spy-thriller which follows The Agatha Christie Theatre Company's hugely successful; The Hollow, The Unexpected Guest, And Then There Were None, Spider's Web, Witness for the Prosecution, Verdict, Murder on the Nile and Go Back For Murder.

Bill Kenwright by special arrangement with Agatha Christie Ltd presents:

The Agatha Christie Theatre Company creative team: Director - Joe Harmston; Designer - Simon Scullion; Lighting Design - Douglas Kuhrt; Sound Design - Matthew Bugg; Costume - Nikki Bird.

TOUR DATES:

Tues 7th - 18th Jan 2014 www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

Theatre Royal, Windsor 01753 853 888

Mon 20th - Sat 25th Jan 2014 www.cambridgeartstheatre.co.uk

Arts Theatre, Cambridge 01223 503333

Mon 27th Jan - Sat 1st Feb 2014 www.theatreroyal.org.uk

Theatre Royal, Bath 01225 448 844

Mon 3rd - Sat 8th Feb 2014 www.grandtheatre.info

Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton 01902 429212

Mon 10th - Sat 15th Feb 2014 www.atgtickets.com/richmond

Richmond Theatre, Richmond 0844 871 7651

Mon 17th - Sat 22nd Feb 2014 www.atgtickets.com/stoke

Regent Theatre, Stoke 0844 871 7649

Tues 4th - Sat 8th Mar 2014 www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk

New Theatre, Cardiff 029 2087 8889

Mon 10th - Sat 15th Mar 2014 www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne 01323 412000

Mon 17th - Sat 22nd Mar 2014 www.southendtheatres.org.uk

Palace Theatre, Southend 01702 351135

Mon 24th - Sat 29th Mar 2014 www.edtheatres.com/kings

Kings Theatre, Edinburgh 0131 529 6000

Mon 31st Mar - Sat 5th Apr 2014 www.atgtickets.com/york

Grand Opera House, York 0844 871 3024

Mon 7th - Sat 12th Apr 2014 www.malvern-theatres.co.uk

Festival Theatre, Malvern 01684 892 277

Mon 14th - Sat 19th Apr 2014 www.hallforcornwall.org

Hall For Cornwall, Truro 01872 262466

Tues 22nd - Sat 26th Apr 2014 www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford 01483 44 00 00

Mon 28th Apr -Sat 3rd May 2014 www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes 0844 871 7652

Tues 6th - Sat 10th May 2014 www.belgrade.co.uk

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry 024 7655 3055

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