Timeless classic for young and not so young

Timeless classic for young and not so young

Timeless classic for young and not so young

First published in News

Agatha Christie's Black Coffee At Wyvern until September 6

Tickets range from £17.50 to £28.50, performances are 7.30pm tonight, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Matinee performances are at 2.30pm Thursday and Saturday.

An audio-described performance for the blind will be available at 2.30pm Thursday.

EVERY member of the audience was left guessing right to the end in a classic whodunit at the Wyvern Theatre.

In a performance filled with subtle jokes, red herrings and a gripping plot, Agatha Christie's most famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot comes to the fore to unpick the murder of an eccentric inventor.

Portrayed with panache by Jason Durr, Black Coffee provided the perfect introduction to the much-loved character for those not so familiar with his long history.

But it was also clear the witty sleuth had more than a handful of diehard fans in the house, with not a spare seat in the auditorium at its first showing in Swindon on Monday.

Set solely in an ornate room at the country estate of Sir Claud Amory, played by Ric Recate, the audience is drawn into the developing conspiracy as the room, as well as the trap, appears to close in on the murderer.

You get the sense you are in the room with the characters, working with Poirot and speaking through him. Subtle winks and nods to the audience create the feeling you are in the know, when of course you're not, and only add to the laughs when Poirot's rather slower partner in solving crime, Captain Arthur Hastings, played by Robin McCallum, jumps to the wrong conclusions.

Durr had the diminutive Belgian's accent to a tee, and the mannerisms were those of a brilliant mind - considered but ever-so-slightly out of step with everyone else.

Laced with humour throughout, Black Coffee is not nearly as dark as its name suggests and proves to be a timeless classic for old and young alike. - Emma Dunn

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