Spider's Web takes over Welwyn Garden City's Barn Theatre

PUBLISHED: 11:25 28 October 2016 | UPDATED: 11:25 28 October 2016

Sarah Gennoe, as Clarissa Hailsham-Brown, finds the body in Spider's Web by Agatha Christie at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: John Davies]

Sarah Gennoe, as Clarissa Hailsham-Brown, finds the body in Spider's Web by Agatha Christie at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: John Davies]

Archant

Agatha Christie plays have been very thin on the Barn Theatre stage of late. But that's about to change with Spider's Web opening in Welwyn Garden City tonight (Friday).

Cliff Francis as Inspector Lord, Sarah Gennoe as Clarissa Hailsham-Brown and Colin Macleod as police officer in Spider's Web by Agatha Christie at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: John Davies]Cliff Francis as Inspector Lord, Sarah Gennoe as Clarissa Hailsham-Brown and Colin Macleod as police officer in Spider's Web by Agatha Christie at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: John Davies]

Christie, the bestselling novelist in history, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare, wrote the play at the request of its star, Margaret Lockwood.

She appeared not to find it too taxing, describing writing murder as”‘a nice little job for a women at home”.

Spider’s Web had its London premiere in 1954 at the Savoy Theatre, where it ran for nearly 800 performances.

With The Mousetrap and Witness for the Prosecution still running in the West End, Christie was at the peak of her career.

Spider's Web at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden CitySpider's Web at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City

A film adaptation starring Glynis Johns followed and, in 1960, a television production starring Penelope Keith.

Maureen Davies is delighted to be directing an Agatha Christie play.

She said: “Having chosen the Spider’s Web, I thought I’d delve into the Barn archives to see what had already been done and I was surprised to find only two Agatha Christie plays.

“One in 1984 Murder on the Nile, the other nearly 60 years ago, and low and behold it was this one!

Jo Sampson as Sir Rowland Delahaye, Harry Harding as Jeremy Warrender and Chirs White as Hugo Birch in Spider's Web by Agatha Christie at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: John Davies]Jo Sampson as Sir Rowland Delahaye, Harry Harding as Jeremy Warrender and Chirs White as Hugo Birch in Spider's Web by Agatha Christie at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: John Davies]

“So I think it is time to take dear Agatha off the shelf and give her a dusting down.”

In this comedy thriller Clarissa, the wife of a Foreign Office diplomat, is given to daydreaming.

“Supposing I were to come down one morning and find a dead body in the library, what should I do?” she muses.

Clarissa has her chance to find out when she discovers a body in the drawing-room of her house in Kent.

Desperate to dispose of the body before her husband comes home with an important foreign politician, Clarissa, played by Sarah Gennoe, persuades her three house guests to become accessories and accomplices.

It seems that the murdered man was not unknown to certain members of the house party.

The search begins for the murderer and the motive, while at the same time trying to persuade a police inspector that there has been no murder at all.

Director Maureen added: “I have really loved tackling this play and working with all the players and crew (not sure they would say they same about working with me).

“But it has been fun and I sincerely hope I have done Miss Christie proud.

“I have tried to bring out the humour as well as sticking to the more sinister side of the play without losing any of the mystery that goes hand in hand with a ‘whodunit’.”

The show runs from Friday, October 28 to Saturday, November 5.

Tickets cost £12.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists