Agatha Christie: New releases reviewed. #3. The Lost Plays (BBC Radio)

Last month, September 2015, saw the world celebrating Agatha Christie’s 125th birthday. Several books, events, broadcasts, and other releases marked the occasion. Finally, I’ve got organized and on top of my shopping list. This week, I’ll be reviewing five new Christie releases. One a day.bbc

Three “lost” plays from the BBC archives. These really were a surprise. The BBC is notoriously bad with records and recordings, and many of us believed these to be lost. Each recording is about half an hour long, and two are plays written by Christie for the radio: “Butter in a Lordly Dish” (1948) and “Personal Call” (1954). A recent vogue for staged readings of these old scripts has seen them paired with “The Yellow Iris” (originally a TV script) or “Three Blind Mice” (which became “The Mousetrap”, of course). But these are the originals. And production values are surprisingly good.

The third recording is “Murder in the Mews” (1955), a dramatization of the short Poirot story, starring Richard Williams as an oddly effective Poirot. As well as being wonderfully cleaned up, the discs make up for their scant content with extra archive footage and original interviews. Some of it’s old but much is new. All in all, a treat for radio enthusiasts and ambrosia for Christie fans.

Tomorrow: Curtain Up: Agatha Christie: A Life in Theatre

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