Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Curtain Up: Agatha Christie A Life in the Threatre


Today's post is on Curtain Up: Agatha Christie A Life in the Threatre by Julius Green. It is 624 pages long and is published by Harper Collins. The cover is the front of a theatre with the title up in lights. The intended reader is someone who is interested in Agatha Christie, threatre history, and very detailed research. There is no sex, no language, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Agatha Christie is revered around the world for her books and the indelible characters she created. Lesser known is her writing for the stage—an extraordinary repertoire of plays that firmly established her as the most successful female dramatist of all time. Now author Julius Green raises the curtain on Christie’s towering contribution to popular theatre, an element of her work previously disregarded by biographers and historians.
Starting with her childhood theatregoing experiences, Curtain Up uncovers Christie’s first serious attempts at playwriting, with scripts that reveal a very different style from the now familiar whodunits for which she became famous. Later in her life, she enjoyed enormous global success with her work for the stage, but her record-breaking achievements in the West End and her conquest of Broadway came at a price: she had to fight against her own fame and felt obliged to delete her adored character Hercule Poirot from stories that had originally been created around him.
Green’s revelations about Christie’s passion for the theatre are illustrated with copious extracts from hitherto unknown plays and unpublished private letters, many of which he discovered in archives on both sides of the Atlantic. The illuminating exchanges between Christie, her agents and producers include extensive correspondence with the legendary ‘Mousetrap Man’, theatrical impresario Sir Peter Saunders.
Meticulously researched and filled with groundbreaking discoveries, Curtain Up sheds new light on Agatha Christie’s artistry and adds a fascinating layer to her remarkable story.

Review- A very interesting and very well research piece of threatre history. Green loves his topic, both of them. He is a Christie fan and a threatre man himself and that comes across in his writing. Green gives many examples of Christie's writing as she grew over the years that she wrote both prose and scripts. With letters from the Christie archive, we get a very personal look into a very private woman. This is not a biography of Agatha Christie's life just her work in the threatre but it is still a very interesting part of her history. At times all the details can get a little overwhelming but I think that it is worth it to see this side of a favorite author.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I was given this book in exchange for an honest review by HarperCollins.