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King’s Theatre

With this funny but chilling play director Lucy Bailey is living up to Agatha Christie’s honour allowing the audience to have an evening full of laughter and excitement.

Agatha Christie is a name known throughout the entire world and that’s for a reason: The 1890 English born novelist and play writer is known for her thrilling crime stories and murder mysteries shaping the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. She wrote sixty six detective novels and fourteen short story collections crowning her the Queen of crime. Coming in third on the world’s most-widely published books after the Bible and Shakespeare’s collection she holds the record of best-selling novelist of all time.

Her most famous works are Hercule Poirot, Miss. Marple and The Mousetrap; the latter which has run uninterruptedly since 1952 is the world’s longest running play.

Love from a Stranger is one of her less known works. Based on her 1924 short story Philomel Cottage, the actor and play writer Frank Vosper adapted the play and opened it in 1936 in the New Theatre. Later on, it was even turned into a successful film.

This psychological thriller follows the protagonist Cecily Harrington (Helen Bradbury) who breaks off her engagement after realizing that she wants more adventure in life. While looking for someone to rent her London flat to she meets the attractive, charming and worldly Bruce Lovell (Sam Frenchum). She falls passionately in love with him and leaves everything behind to live with him in a cottage in West Sussex. Whether their life in the country will be as they both wished for remains to be seen…

The best part about a crime story is not knowing what’s going to happen next, which is why I am very glad that I have not heard of the play before as I was able to completely immerse in the story.

The first half was rather funny and then creepy presenting the audience with a hilarious clash between the characters. Later on, the atmosphere starts to get weirder and alarming. The tension increases significantly towards the end. The drastic change in the main characters is magnificent. Helen Bradbury and Sam Frenchum give an outstanding performance, ending the play in an overwhelming climax. The entire cast’s performances were exceptionally superb. It is a delight to watch them play. Bravo!

Shelia Burnett

Not only are the actors outstanding the entire play is beautifully made. Designer Mike Britton did an amazing job with the scenery. The detail from the props brings so much life into the play. My favourite part though is the moving set. The scenery is divided into three sections: the front, the middle and the back. The floor in these sections can move giving the audience a different perspective on the scenery forcing attention to the most important part of the scene.

Light and sound were very well used to create tension and bring attention to certain details making sure that the audience does not miss clues and hints of certain events.

This brilliant version of Love from a Stranger is an adventure for the entire family keeping everyone on their toes.

Agatha Christie’s crime stories are timeless and are perfect for the theatre not only to enjoy watching but to get you thinking too.

Anais Andresen

5th to 9th of June

Evenings 7.30pm | Matinees Wed & Sat 2.30pm

Tickets from £15!



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