John Cristow is a typical Agatha Christie character, with a successful career, an easy charm, a string of lovers and rivals...and a bullet in his chest.
Following two sell-out runs of Christie’s Spider’s Web, Torchlight Mysteries are back at Wymering Manor with The Hollow, in which Veronica Craye, a Hollywood starlet and the victim’s old flame, causes a stir when she descends on the family unexpectedly and graces the neighbourhood with a touch of Hollywood glamour.
Leigh Cunningham, who plays Miss Craye, says: ‘I saw the wonderful production of Spider’s Web and enjoyed it so much. The Torchlight Team are incredibly good at creating the atmosphere of the world of Agatha Christie and Wymering Manor is the perfect venue for The Hollow. The wood panelling, the fireplace, the warm lighting, it’s all real! So, you really feel like you are in the world of the characters.’
The Hollow, a classic country house murder mystery play, is the story of a family gathering over the course of a weekend, and the shooting of their guest, John Cristow. With lovers, rivals, a wronged wife, an eccentric hostess, and a butler whose loyalty knows no bounds, it seems everyone could have reason for wanting him dead.
Sheila Elsdon, who also saw Spider’s Web before being asked to join the cast of The Hollow as Lady Angkatell, says: ‘As an audience member, you walk up to the front door, knock, and a household servant lets you in. After a cup of tea or coffee, you are invited to walk through the house to take your seats in the Great Hall. It’s a very exciting experience. In a way, having joined the cast, I shall miss being an audience member.’
Having recently played the role of Elgin in the revival of Spider’s Web at the Square Tower, Henry Oastler joins the cast of The Hollow as yet another butler.
He says: ‘I often seem to find myself playing sinister servants. The butlers in Christie’s plays are great fun and in The Hollow in particular, the part of Gudgeon has some great lines! Rehearsing and performing at the fantastic Wymering Manor is a great honour. We’re all very proud of the production and can’t wait to share it with our audiences.’
A cast of local actors also includes Peter Colley, Becky James, Maria Kennedy, Geoffrey Pye, Alistair Smyth, and Jonathan Fost.
Wymering Manor, Wymering
March 29-April 7