14 Apr 2021

2021 Festival Programme Announced

After an online existence in 2020, which marked 30 years since it was first held, the International Agatha Christie Festival, funded by Arts Council England, returns to the English Riviera this September.

And it’s bigger than ever (See the current programme, annexed).  Among many highlights:

  • The UK professional premiere of THE STRANGER, Agatha Christie’s gripping psychological thriller;
  • Award-winning authors ANTHONY HOROWITZ and KATE MOSSE in conversation;
  • A NEW EXHIBITION ABOUT AGATHA CHRISTIE and her travels in the middle East, developed with the Christie Archive Trust;
  • Award-winning actress ANNETTE BADLAND in a special event on The Golden Hind in Brixham harbour;
  • A new film, AGATHA CHRISTIE AND THE NEAR EAST, about the archaeological experiences of Christie and her husband Max Mallowan in Iraq and Syria;
  • A HOST OF ACKNOWLEDGED AUTHORITIES ON AGATHA CHRISTIE’S LIFE AND WORK ON STAGE AND SCREEN AT A RANGE OF VENUES ACROSS THE ENGLISH RIVIERA.

In parallel, there are fringe events including guided tours, the opportunity to go seal-watching on the Dart by Christie’s home at Greenway and a very special model railway … as well as several online events, including talks by the author Christopher Huang and Christie expert Chris Chan.

Full details of the Festival programme and fringe events will be published in June when tickets will go on sale. To be among the first to find out, subscribe to Festival News on the Festival website, www.iacf-uk.org or follow the Festival on Twitter and Facebook (@AgathaFestival).

The Festival producer, Tony Medawar, is available for interview: info@iacf-uk.org; and 07976065558

11 September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay

Evening Events – Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay

  • In the afternoon, the opening event sees two of Britain’s best-loved authors – Anthony Horowitz and Kate Mosse in conversation about Agatha Christie and much else besides.
  • Later, Agatha Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard will open a new exhibition about Christie’s travels in the Middle East. The exhibition will run for one month and has been curated by Alice Graham with the assistance of the Christie Archive Trust.
  • And the day ends with Brian Eastman, director of the ITV television series Agatha Christie’s Poirot, in conversation with Dr Mark Aldridge, author of Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World and Agatha Christie on Screen. Brian will also introduce a special showing of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd starring Sir David Suchet.

12 September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Museum and Rowcroft Hospice, Torquay

Evening Event – Torquay Museum, Torquay

13 September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay

Evening Events – Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay

14 September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay

Evening Event – Oldway Mansion, Torquay

  • The day begins with Judy Dewey, curator of Wallingford Museum, on ‘Life with the Mallowans’ in the town where Christie spent her final years.
  • In the afternoon, Martin Edwards, president of the Detection Club and author of The Lake District Mysteries and The Golden Age of Murder will talk about the craft of crime fiction and, later, host a crime-writing workshop for aspiring local writers.
  • In the evening, the Festival moves to the evocative surroundings of historic Oldway Mansion and an evening of classic ghost stories by M R James with Moonstone Theatre.

CHRISTIE DAY: 15 September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay; and Dartmoor Prison Museum

Evening event – The Golden Hind, Brixham Harbour

  • Our celebration of Agatha Christie’s birthday opens with Dr John Curran, the foremost authority on her life and work, speaking on The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the first novel featuring Hercule Poirot, first published in the United Kingdom in 1921.
  • After lunch there will be a unique event at Dartmoor Prison where Dr Jamie Bernthal-Hooker, co-editor of Agatha Christie Goes to War, will speak about the moorland mysteries of Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The talk will be followed by a guided tour of the evocative French and American prisoner of war cemeteries.
  • And in the evening, on board the Golden Hind in Brixham harbour, there will be a very special event to mark Christie’s birthday with award-winning actress Annette Badland, star of Midsomer Murders, EastEnders, Dr Who and The Archers.

16 September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay

Evening Events – The Palace Theatre, Paignton

17 September 2021

Day Events – Paignton Zoo and The Picture House, Paignton

Evening Event – The Palace Theatre, Paignton

  • Opening the day, Kate Jackson – author of The Pocket Detective – will be speaking at Paignton Zoo about animals in the work of Agatha Christie and other great crime writers.
  • In the afternoon, at Paignton Picture House, Professor Mike Wilson talks about Agatha Christie and Grand-Guignol theatre, and later he will be joined by Adam Nevill, author of The Ritual, to discuss the enduring popularity of horror and supernatural fiction.
  • And in the evening, the Festival returns to the Palace Theatre, Paignton, for the UK professional premiere of The Stranger, Agatha Christie’s gripping psychological thriller, performed as a rehearsed and costumed reading.

18 September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Museum; and Torquay

Evening Event – Venue to be revealed

Notes:

Agatha Christie Festival Ltd is a charity, funded by Arts Council England and an Associated Partner of the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark. Our aim is to use the extraordinary power and reach of Agatha Christie’s global reputation to promote engagement and participation in literature and the arts, help the recovery and growth of Torbay’s local economy and wider efforts to increase tourism and support work to understand and promote the area’s literary and geological heritage.

To achieve this, and working with private, public and third sector partners in Torbay and South Devon, we stage an annual festival for local people and Christie’s legion fans across Britain and around the world to celebrate Christie’s life and legacy, including high profile speakers and performances of her plays and poetry. We also use Festival receipts and funding provided by trusts and foundations, including The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Elmgrant Trust and The Linbury Trust, to create and deliver a series of arts participation and performance community projects, including support for young people from a disadvantaged background, older people and people on an alcohol/drug recovery programme. And we strive to maximise the Festival’s contribution to the local economy by sourcing goods and services locally wherever possible and by creating work experience and other opportunities for local young people in relation to Festival publicity, Festival events, and, where possible, Festival projects.

Anthony Horowitz is one of the most prolific writers in the UK, unique for working across so many media, juggling writing books, TV series, films, plays and journalism. Anthony has written over 60 books, including bestselling teen spy series Alex Rider, which has sold over 21 million copies worldwide, and has now been adapted into two major television series produced by Sony and Eleventh Hour Films. Anthony is responsible for creating and writing some of the UK’s most beloved and successful television series including BAFTA award winning series Foyle’s WarMidsomer Murders, and Poirot. Anthony’s award-winning book Magpie Murders is currently being filmed, and the sequel Moonflower Murders is optioned to follow. His new crime book series featuring the detective Hawthorne has three books so far with a fourth being written. In 2014 Anthony was awarded an OBE for his services to literature. He has been a patron to East Anglia Children’s Hospices and Kidscape since 2008, and in 2019 became a patron to Suffolk charity Home-Start.

Kate Mosse is the author of eight novels & short story collections, including the No 1 bestselling The Burning Chambers Series – The Burning Chambers and The City of Tears – as well as the multimillion selling Languedoc Trilogy – Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel – and No 1 bestselling Gothic fiction including The Winter Ghosts and The Taxidermist’s Daughter, which she has adapted for the stage. Her books have been translated into 38 languages and published in more than 40 countries. She has also written four works of non-fiction – including An Extra Pair of Hands (Wellcome Collection, 2021) – four plays, contributed essays and introductions to classic novels and collections. A champion of women’s creativity, Kate is the Founder Director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction – the largest annual celebration of women’s writing in the world – and sits on the Executive Committee of Women of the World. She is the Founder of the global campaign – #WomanInHistory – launched in January 2021 to honour, celebrate and promote women’s achievements throughout history and from every corner of the world. She was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to literature and women and was named Woman of the Year for her service to the arts in the Everywoman Awards.

Annette Badland is an award-winning actress, nominated for an Olivier for Sadie in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. On television she is known for her roles in Midsomer Murders, Eastenders, Dr Who, Outlander, Bergerac and Cutting It. Recent work includes The Crown, Ted Lasso and Strike. Theatre includes Sir Peter Hall’s Company, RSC, National Theatre, The Globe, Royal Court, Cheek by Jowl and The Almeida also The Royal Exchange, Manchester where she won critical acclaim as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit.  Films include The Man Who Invented Christmas, Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Twenty Four Seven, Jabberwocky and Little Voice. On radio she plays horrid Hazel in The Archers. And she was Gladys in the BBC TV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple novel A Pocket Full of Rye!