International Christie Festival 2018

(Last Updated On: August 10, 2018)

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Stellar line-up for Birthday Celebration of the Queen of Crime

From Friday 14 to Sunday 16 September 2018, Torbay is hosting a weekend of events celebrating the birthday of Agatha Christie produced by the International Agatha Christie Festival.

Heading the bill is the world-premiere at the Palace Theatre, Paignton, of a “forgotten play”, The Lie written in the 1920s in the wake of the break-up of her first marriage to Archie Christie.

West End theatre producer and founder of the official Agatha Christie Theatre Company Julius Green discovered the play while researching his book, Agatha Christie: A Life in Theatre at the Christie Archive Trust. On Sat 15th September, Agatha Christie’s birthday, the play will be read publicly for the first time ever in a staged reading.

The Birthday Celebration weekend this year also has a host of Agatha Christie special events to celebrate the crime writer’s life and writing, as well as the arts that inspired her.

Across the weekend, Torre Abbey Museum will be presenting “Elephants Can Remember” – HoloLens Edition which uses an archive recording of Christie reading the first chapter of her final Poirot mystery in an immersive reality fantasy.

Torquay Museum are hosting a dedicated Christie Mystery Day curated by Christie expert Dr John Curran featuring rare film screenings, radio works, guest talks and lectures as well as tours with new artefacts in the Museum’s dedicated Christie gallery.

Supporting contemporary young voices too, the Birthday Celebration features a special Young Writers’ Project created over the summer by the young people of Doorstep Arts in Paignton together with Beyond Face theatre in Plymouth. Both groups have been working with the medical immunologist turned cult crime writer Hawa Jande Golakai from Liberia, West Africa, to create a new performance. Visiting Torbay as one of the festival’s residency artists Golakai will be paying homage to one of her greatest inspirations, and a writer whose life similarly spanned the worlds of medicine and literature.

On Saturday 15th September, Christie’s home, Greenway will be hosting a celebration fête with traditional games and stalls, while across the weekend Welsh choreographer Sioned Huws will be performing her celebrated Niwa-Gardd-Garden dance. It will be performed at various outdoor sites across the bay over the weekend and concluding as part of the Torre Abbey Museum Garden Party on Sunday afternoon.

For full details, see Tickets are available for individual events at each venue ranging from FREE – £35. Hawa Jande Golakai will also be presenting a writer’s talk at Torre Abbey Museum at 2pm on Friday 24th August.

Bob Jope

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Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!