Newport Playgoers return to the stage of Newport’s Dolman Theatre next week with the Agatha Christie thriller, Towards Zero,a play that probes the psychology of jealousy in the shadow of a savage and brutal murder.
Towards Zero follows a house party gathering at Gull’s Point, the seaside home of Lady Tressilian, Neville Strange finds himself caught between his old wife Audrey and his new flame Kay.
Agatha Christie’s Favourite Book Takes To Stage
Towards the end of her life, Christie revealed to a Japanese fan, that Towards Zero was one of her favourite books. “I found it interesting to work on the idea of people from different places coming towards a murder, instead of starting with the murder and working from that,” she wrote.
The last of five novels to feature Superintendent Battle, Towards Zero comes together quickly and clearly, as can be seen from Christie’s notebooks. Her notes are detailed and closely resemble the published version – she even drew a map of the coastline around Gull’s Point, which plays an important part in the story, and which was inspired by Greenway, the holiday home of Agatha Christie and Max Mallowan on the River Dart in Devon.
In 1956, the novel was dramatised by Agatha Christie with the considerable assistance of thriller writer Gerald Verner famous for writing several Sexton Blake detective fiction stories. Produced by Peter Saunders, it opened at the St James’s Theatre in London’s West End on 4 September. Christie attended some of the rehearsals. When asked if she minded a line being altered, she replied that she did mind. “I want you to say, ‘I hate her. hate her. I hate her.”
Agatha Christie’s Towards Zero at Dolman Theatre
Newport Playgoers presentation of Towards Zero is directed by James Reynolds, who also directed the company’s last Christie stage adaptation Murder on The Nile, described by Andy Howells at the time as “Scratching that Poison Ivy itch for long-term Agatha Christie fans.”
It runs at Newport’s Dolman Theatre from November 9th – November 13th, 2021. Performances start at 7:15pm, with an additional matinee performance at 2:00pm on the Saturday.