Please note that starting with Under Milk Wood
our Friday and Saturday performances commence at 7:30pm

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A Murder is Announced

by Agatha Christie

Adapted by Leslie Darbon

Directed by John Grinston

Season: 13th May - 24th June 2017
Preview night 12th May
Friday and Saturday nights at 7.30pm
Sunday matinée at 4.30pm

Like bees to pollen, ants to honey, and the English to sugary tea, we are drawn to the scene of a crime. Usually the crime in question has already been committed. Yes - usually... Leslie Darbon's A Murder is Announced - adapted from the novel by Agatha Christie - prompts disturbing thoughts about the sanity of a group of people who convene for what could be their own very public demise. But it also introduces us to passionate young lovers, village eccentrics, European fanatics, and Miss Jane Marple, in whom forensic brilliance battles chronic rheumatism for the good of nice people across Britain.

This is a play in which audiences will wonder 'whodunnit' amongst a group of tightly-knit friends, all of whom knew someone 'would-do-it'...

Seven female characters and five male characters make up the cast of the play: the age range spans from twenty-somethings to those in the late summer and autumn of their lives. (Probably they are older: most of this crew are serial liars...)

The characters are:

  • Letitia Blacklock - a gracious lady who shares her house with numerous relatives, neighbours, and policemen. Ordered, but with deep reserves of passion. (45 - 60ish)
  • Dora Bunner - long time friend to Letitia; highly excitable, with emotions all on her sleeve and cobwebs spreading in her mind. (50 - 80ish)
  • Julia Simmons - a young woman related to Letitia, possessed of tart tongue, critical eye, challenging manner, and passionate heart. (In her 20s)
  • Phillipa Haymes - a beautiful and young unmarried mother, in whom devotion to her child is united with more unusual emotions. (In her 20s)
  • Clara Swettenham - friend and neighbour to Letitia; an amateur apiarist; sweet-natured but with a tendency to get into sticky situations. (50 - 60ish)
  • Mitzi - lacking in both surname and niceties, this proud and hot-headed Hungarian cooks and cleans for Letitia and lives in, often bemoaning her fate. (25-ish, but going on 30, 40, or perhaps 60.)
  • Miss Marple - an elderly lady whose occasional aches and pains are no match for her sociability, curiosity, confidence, and brilliant penetration of the community heart of darkness. (You do not ask this lady's age...)
  • Patrick Simmons - brother to Julia, lively, quick-witted, amusing, hedonistic, and more ardent than might at first appear. (20 - 30)
  • Edmund Swettenham - no, not Edward Scissorhands, but a very interesting dark horse all the same: a writer of blunt manner and deep passion. (20 - 30)
  • Rudi Scherz - a young Swiss man of action who shakes up this tea-and-crumpet community.
  • Craddock - the local Chief Inspector... dogged, a touch world-weary and self-pitying, but once on the trail an enthusiastic sleuth. (Somewhere in middle age)
  • Sergeant Mellors - perhaps more useful to Craddock than Watson to Holmes. Loyal, reliable, and probably an impressive opening batsman, to boot. (20 - 40)

Please book an appointment for an audition at the Genesian Theatre on either Thursday 23rd Feb (6.30pm - 10pm) or Saturday 25th Feb (10am - 4pm) by emailing

You are welcome to present an audition speech of your own choosing, or simply to read on the day from the script. Copies of scenes will be available on the day for inspection in the theatre foyer.

Casting will be gender/race/disability blind, but talent all-seeing.

I look forward to assembling a cast that will enjoy exploring the potential in this play for comedy, for conflict, and for keeping audiences alert and happily alarmed.

Best wishes,
John Grinston (Director, A Murder Is Announced.)