Free Agatha Christie Plays in the Telegraph
Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August 2011
These atmospheric dramas will have you riveted with suspense on summer car journeys, while sunbathing or simply to keep you entertained while pottering at home. Enjoy the period details, charming accents and Christie's masterful plotting in four tales dramatised by top casts of actors including Dervla Kirwan, Andrew Sachs, Miriam Margolyes and Michael Kitchen.




Agatha Christie


The witness for the prosecution by Agatha Christie is a short story that first appeared under the name of 'Traitor Hands' in 1925. The story first showed up as witness for the prosecution in the UK in 1933, featuring in 'The Hound of Death', a collection of twelve short stories by Agatha Christie.

This last play was dramatised by BBC Radio 4 who have brought many of Agatha's worke to the radio. The most well known of these are John Moffat as Hercule Poirot and June Whitfield as Miss Marple, although in recent years the BBC have adapted other Christie novels that do not feature these detectives.

The story was adapted into a play in 1953 and into a film in 1957. Critically aclaimed, the film received 6 academy award nominations, including best actor (Charles Laughton), best actress in a supporting role (Elsa Lanchester), best director (Billy Wilder), and best film. What a fantastic money earner better than an pension annuity and a continual income stream for Agatha Christie.

I watched witness for the prosecution with a friend recently and I had forgotten just how good it is. A fabulous twisty plot, of course, but also excellent acting, especially from the wonderful Charles Laughton and his real-life wife Elsa Lanchester.

The transition from stage play to the big screen is not always entirely successful, but I think witness for the prosecution managed to perfectly balance the intimacy of the theatre with some wider-ranging scenes. Of course, it was directed by the great Billy Wilder, so a highly polished production is only to be expected and witness for the prosecution has really achieved the status of a classic.

My friend had never seen Witness for the Prosecution before and she thoroughly enjoyed it, being completely taken in by Dame Agatha’s devious plotting.

Director Michael Radford’s re-make of Witness for the Prosecution starring Nicole Kidman and Al Pacino certainly has a lot to live up to.