We are delighted to announce the release of this year’s programme for the International Agatha Christie Festival. 2021 marks 31 years of the internationally acclaimed event and it promises to be the best one yet.

From 11th – 18th September 2021, a series of events will take place across the English Riviera including the UK professional premiere of The Stranger, Agatha Christie’s gripping psychological play.

Other highlights include:

  • Award-winning authors Anthony Horowitz and Kate Mosse in conversation

  • A new exhibition about Agatha Christie’s travels in the middle East, developed with the Christie Archive Trust

  • Award-winning actress Annette Badland in a special event on pirate ship: The Golden Hind

  • A new film, ‘Agatha Christie and The Near East’, about the archaeological experiences of Christie and her husband Max Mallowan in Iraq and Syria

  • A host of acknowledged authorities on Agatha Christie’s life and work on stage and screen at a range of venues across the English Riviera.

As well as all of this, there are fringe events including guided tours, the opportunity to go seal-watching on the Dart by Christie’s home at Greenway House and a very special model railway. Plus several online events, including talks by the author Christopher Huang and Christie expert Chris Chan.

Accommodation is already booking up fast for this week, so be sure to reserve your place to stay in the Bay soon. For the true Christie fans, take an Agatha Christie Themed Break on the English Riviera by staying at Agatha Christie Accommodation and enjoying Agatha Christie Things To Do.

An overview of the planned events is below, however full details of the Festival programme and fringe events will be published in June when tickets will go on sale.

To be among the first to find out, subscribe to Festival News on the Festival website, www.iacf-uk.org or follow the Festival on Twitter and Facebook (@AgathaFestival).

Saturday 11th September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay

Evening Events – Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay

  • In the afternoon, the opening event sees two of Britain’s best-loved authors – Anthony Horowitz and Kate Mosse in conversation about Agatha Christie and much else besides.

  • Later, Agatha Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard will open a new exhibition about Christie’s travels in the Middle East. The exhibition will run for one month and has been curated by Alice Graham with the assistance of the Christie Archive Trust.

  • And the day ends with Brian Eastman, director of the ITV television series Agatha Christie’s Poirot, in conversation with Dr Mark Aldridge, author of Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World and Agatha Christie on Screen. Brian will also introduce a special showing of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd starring Sir David Suchet

Sunday 12th September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Museum and Rowcroft Hospice, Torquay

Evening Event – Torquay Museum

  • The day begins at Torre Abbey Museum with an illustrated exploration of Agatha Christie’s London hosted by City of London & Westminster tour guide Tina Hodgkinson. While all day in the grounds of Rowcroft Hospice there will be an Agatha Christie Treasure Hunt.

  • After lunch, Carla Valentine will be speaking about her new book, Murder Isn’t Easy: The Forensics of Agatha Christie. Carla is the curator of the Pathology Museum at Barts Hospital and presenter of Channel 4’s The Bone Detectives.

  • In the evening, Torquay Museum will host the premiere of a new film directed by Sabine Scharnagl: Agatha Christie and the Near East focuses on the archaeological experiences of Christie and her husband, Sir Max Mallowan, and will be followed by a panel discussion.

Monday 13th September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay

Evening Events – Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay

  • The day begins with an attempt to solve the mystery of Hercule Poirot by Dr Mark Aldridge, author of Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World and Agatha Christie on Screen.

  • In the afternoon, the Spanish Barn hosts a live edition of the hit US podcast All About Agatha, hosted by Kemper Donovan and Catherine Brobeck.

  • In the Spanish Barn in the evening, the award-winning storytelling theatre company Scary Little Girls present an evening of stories by writers of the Riviera.

Tuesday 14th September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Musuem, Torquay

Evening Event – Oldway Mansion, Paignton

  • The day begins with Judy Dewey, curator of Wallingford Museum, on ‘Life with the Mallowans’ in the town where Christie spent her final years.

  • In the afternoon, Martin Edwards, president of the Detection Club and author of the Lake District Mysteries and The Golden Age of Murder will talk about the craft of crime fiction and, later, host a crime-writing workshop for aspiring local writers.

  • In the evening, the Festival moves to the evocative surroundings of historic Oldway Mansion and an evening of classic ghost stories by M R James with Moonstone Theatre.

AGATHA CHRISTIE DAY: Wednesday 15th September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Musuem, Torquay and The Prison Museum, Dartmoor

Evening Event – The Golden Hind, Brixham

  • Our celebration of Agatha Christie’s birthday opens with Dr John Curran, the foremost authority on her life and work, speaking on The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the first novel featuring Hercule Poirot, first published in the United Kingdom in 1921.

  • After lunch there will be a unique event at Dartmoor Prison where Dr Jamie Bernthal-Hooker, co-editor of Agatha Christie Goes to War, will speak about the moorland mysteries of Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The talk will be followed by a guided tour of the evocative French and American prisoner of war cemeteries.

  • And in the evening, on board the Golden Hind in Brixham harbour, there will be a very special event to mark Christie’s birthday with award-winning actress Annette Badland, star of Midsomer Murders, EastEnders, Dr Who and The Archers.

Thursday 16th September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay

Evening Events – The Palace Theatre, Paignton

  • Events begin with The Queen of Crime in the Queen of the Suburbs, a talk by Dr Jonathan Oates, archivist and historian, on Christie’s childhood in the London borough of Ealing.

  • In the afternoon, author Sophie Hannah talks about her role in continuing to tell stories about Christie’s best-loved detective Hercule Poirot. This is followed by local history expert Matt Newbury on Christie’s interest in wild swimming, followed by a panel discussion and the premiere of Agatha Swims, a new short film directed by Karen Marshall.

  • The evening closes at the Palace Theatre, Paignton, with the first of two performances (the other is on Saturday the 18th) of Dracula: The Bloody Truth, a production by the acclaimed company Le Navet Bete in association with Exeter Northcott Theatre.

Friday 17th September 2021

Day Events – Paignton Zoo, and The Picture House, Paignton

Evening Event – The Palace Theatre, Paignton

  • Opening the day, Kate Jackson - author of The Pocket Detective - will be speaking at Paignton Zoo about animals in the work of Agatha Christie and other great crime writers.

  • In the afternoon, at Paignton Picture House, Professor Mike Wilson talks about Agatha Christie and Grand-Guignol theatre, and later he will be joined by Adam Nevill, author of The Ritual, to discuss the enduring popularity of horror and supernatural fiction.

  • And in the evening, the Festival returns to the Palace Theatre, Paignton, for the UK professional premiere of The Stranger, Agatha Christie’s gripping psychological play, performed by as a rehearsed and costumed reading.

Saturday 18th September 2021

Day Events – Torre Abbey Museum and Torquay

Evening Event – Venue to be revealed

  • The final day begins with Dr Julius Green, author of Agatha Christie: A Life in Theatre on "Poirot on Stage".

  • Later in the day, things take a sporting turn with Murder: Of Course!, which takes place at Abbey Park Pitch ‘n’ Putt Golf Course and later, a wild sea-swimming event between Beacon Cove and Meadfoot Beach in Torquay, where Agatha Christie swam regularly.

  • And in the closing event of the Festival, Dr Mark Aldridge, will be in conversation with Guy Slater, producer of the BBC television series, Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. Guy will also introduce a special showing of A Pocket Full of Rye starring the late Joan Hickson OBE.

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