The 2016 Birthday Celebrations Programme
1.30pm – Agatha Christie stamps go on sale at Torre Abbey, Torquay
Plus, visit the abbey gardens and discover the Potent Plants collection based on the poisons and remedies from Christie’s stories.
2.30pm – Mathew Prichard reads The Witness for the Prosecution
Agatha Christie’s grandson Mathew Prichard will open the birthday celebrations with a reading of short story The Witness for the Prosecution, first published in 1925. The story, one of Christie’s most famous, is shortly to be adapted into a major new BBC production by Sarah Phelps, the screenwriter behind last Christmas’ big hitter And Then There Were None, starring Aidan Turner and Charles Dance.
Perhaps the most well-known adaptation was the 1957 film directed by Billy Wilder, starring Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrich and based on the play, adapted from the short story by Christie herself in 1953.
3.45pm: Sophie Hannah on Closed Casket
To mark the 100th anniversary of the creation of Poirot, the latest adventure of the great Belgian detective Closed Casket, will be published globally on 6th September. The author of the novel, Sophie Hannah, herself a passionate Agatha Christie fan, will be in Torquay for the birthday celebrations, answering your questions on her inspiration and discussing her love of Christie. Find out more about the mystery, listen to Sophie’s anecdotes, and bag yourself a signed copy.
5.00pm: Devonshire Cream Teas
Included in all ticket prices.
6.00pm: Royal Mail Agatha Christie stamp event
On 15th September, Torquay will host an exclusive event with Royal Mail, who will launch a special set of six Agatha Christie stamps on Christie’s birthday to mark 100 years since the creation of Poirot in her first published novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
Torre Abbey will be the venue for a unique event with stamp designer Jim Sutherland and Royal Mail Editorial Manager Helen Cumberbatch, who together will provide an entertaining and informative conversation detailing everything from artistic inspiration right through to stamp approval from Her Majesty the Queen.
There will be a Royal Mail pop up shop selling first day and commemorative covers, postcards and presentation packs, with the opportunity to have these signed by Mathew Prichard, Christie’s grandson.
Visitors to Torquay on the day can also post mail in a certain postbox (location to be revealed) and that post will be franked with a commemorative Agatha Christie postmark.
7.15pm: Closing speech and toast to the Queen of Crime
The programme of celebrations will draw to a close as we join Mathew to raise a birthday glass of bubbly to Dame Agatha, the Queen of Crime, in the 100 year since the inception of her most famous creation, detective Hercule Poirot.
Ticket One: £15.00
Includes: Mathew Prichard reading The Witness for the Prosecution; Sophie Hannah on Closed Casket; Devonshire Cream Teas
Ticket Two: £15.00
Includes: Devonshire Cream Teas; Royal Mail event; closing speech and birthday toast
Combination Ticket: £25.00
Access to the full programme of events, with: Mathew Prichard reading The Witness for the Prosecution; Sophie Hannah on Closed Casket; Devonshire Cream Teas; Royal Mail event; closing speech and birthday toast