THE Regent Theatre in Hanley is currently playing host to The Agatha Christie Theatre Company's play Black Coffee, featuring one of Britain’s most instantly recognisable actors, Robert Powell, as super sleuth Hercule Poirot until Saturday, February 22.
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.
From the outset the audience is immediately caught up in the drama of the play - helped along greatly by the superb set - and the inner turmoil and personalities of the characters.
But, despite its dark subject matter the play also offers some very humuorous interjections, especially between our hero and his trusty companion Hastings.
As is synonymous with Agatha Christie, the plot constantly twists and turns as it reaches its conclusion and does not fail to leave the audience in a state of surprise as to who the dastardly culprit is.
Robert Powell has received multiple awards and a BAFTA nomination for his portrayal of ‘Jesus’ in Franco Zefferelli’s Jesus of Nazareth.
Robert went on to star in numerous film hits including 39 Steps, Four Feathers and Shaka Zulu.
His extensive stage performances include: Alan Bennett’s Single Spies, Keith Waterhouse’s Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.
As the infamous and somewhat formidable Poirot, Robert Powell brings a refreshing new portrayal to the role of the meticulous Belgian detective, most well-known in the TV dramas played by David Suchet.
Robert is supported by 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.
This is an absolute must-see for fans of Poirot, or anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery.
it really does not fail to disappoint in hitting all of the right notes for what you would expect from the great Dame Christie and one of her greatest creations, all brought together and portrayed superbly by a vastly talented cast, who truly bring the the story, and characters, to life.
Tickets for Black Coffee are available now in person from The Regent Theatre Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www.atgtickets/com/stoke.