Saturday, 13 September 2014

Preview: Black Coffee at Darlington Civic Theatre

Poirot Returns to the Stage
After 40 Years

Black Coffee  
Darlington Civic Theatre
Mon 22 – Sat 27 September

Agatha Christie’s much celebrated Belgian detective Poirot will be appearing at Darlington’s Civic Theatre in the first major revival of the only play to feature him in 40 years.  Espionage classic Black Coffee appears Mon 22 – Sat 27 September.

Jason Durr (Heartbeat) stars as world famous Hercule Poirot. Having recently appeared on UK stages in the title role of Sherlock Holmes: The Best Kept Secret, Durr’s previous Poirot-training saw him emerge as a household name following starring roles in hit television series such as Lewis (ITV); Midsomer Murders (ITV) Miss Marple: The Blue Geranium (ITV); Inspector Morse (ITV); The Chief (ITV) and, of course, Heartbeat (ITV) where he consolidated his heartthrob status playing the role of PC Mike Bradley for six years. 

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.

Black Coffee features 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.

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.

Such is Poirot’s on-going popularity that the first official novel to continue Christie’s work will be published in September 2014. Written by crime writer and poet Sophie Howard, the title alone will be announced this Summer with the support of the Christie estate.

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 (which played at Newcastle Theatre Royal in 2009) Witness for the Prosecution, Verdict, Murder on the Nile and Go Back For Murder.

Presented by Bill Kenwright by special arrangement with Agatha Christie Ltd.

JoWhereToGo had the previlidge to see the show earlier in the tour and here is our review:

Free post show talk Wednesday - Stay behind after the show to take part in a Q&A with some of the cast. Booking not necessary. 

Black Coffee appears at Darlington Civic Theatre from Mon 22 – Sat 27 September 2014 (Evenings: 7.30pm, Matinees: Thursday 2pm and Saturday 2.30pm).
Tickets* Opening Night £17.40, £18.20, £19.40, £21
Tue – Thu Evenings and Sat mat £21.50, £22.50, £24, £26
Fri & Sat Evenings £22.50, £23.50, £25, £27
Thu 2pm all seats £18.50 Discounts available
Contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

UK Tour:

15-20 Sep 2014
Princess Theatre
0844 871 3023
22-27 Sep 2014
Civic Theatre
01325 486555
29 Sep-4 Oct 2014
01246 345222
6-11 Oct 2014
Churchill Theatre
0844 871 7620
13-18 Oct 2014
Rose Theatre
08444 821 556
20-25 Oct 2014
His Majesty's Theatre
01224 641122
27 Oct-1 Nov 2014
Floral Pavilion
0151 666 0000
New Brighton
3-8 Nov 2014
Theatre Royal
0844 871 7647
10-11 Nov 2014
Lyceum Theatre
01270 368 242
17-22 Nov 2014
Opera House
0844 871 3018
24-29 Nov 2014
Derby Theatre
01332 59 39 39

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