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David Suchet is Hercules Poirot

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					                              THREE ACT TRAGEDY




                          PRODUCTION NOTES

Press release ............................................................................. Page 2

Cast list ..................................................................................... Page 3

Synopsis .................................................................................... Page 4

Martin Shaw is Sir Charles Cartwright ......................................... Page 6

Production credits...................................................................... Page 8



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General Christie Contacts:
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Jane Acton - 0207 631 2666 / jane@colmangetty.co.uk




                            PRESS RELEASE

                 David Suchet is Hercule Poirot in

                THREE ACT TRAGEDY




Martin Shaw guest stars as a world renowned actor alongside David
Suchet in Three Act Tragedy, a brand new Poirot film scheduled for
Sunday 3rd January 2010 at 8pm on ITV1.


Shaw (George Gently, Judge John Deed) takes on the role of Sir Charles
Cartwright, a retired actor who relishes the opportunity to assist Poirot
with his investigations after the death of a guest at his home.


Three Act Tragedy also stars Art Malik (Ben Hur), Kate Ashfield
(Collision), Kimberley Nixon (Cranford), Jane Asher (The Palace) and
Tom Wisdom (The Boat that Rocked).


Poirot visits Cornwall to attend a dinner hosted by his
friend, the retired actor Sir Charles Cartwright. But


Poirot: Three Act Tragedy                                              2
when an amiable local Reverend chokes to death on his cocktail Poirot
cannot see how murder can have been committed. With the exception
of Sir Charles’s doctor friend Sir Bartholomew Strange and the
enigmatic Miss Egg Lytton Gore, any one of the eclectic mix of guests
might have taken the glass - the inquisitive playwright, vulnerable ex-
jockey, celebrated dressmaker, faithful housekeeper or young suitor of
Miss Lytton Gore’s.


When, weeks later, Sir Bartholomew Strange chokes to death at a
dinner party he is hosting with many of the same guests, Poirot and
Charles are not surprised to discover that Strange was poisoned. The
motives seem plentiful - could a missing butler, mysterious telephone
message     or   secret   tunnel   be   the    key   to   solving   the   case?


Three Act Tragedy is adapted by Nick Dear (Lewis), directed by Ashley
Pearson (The Commander) and the producer is Karen Thrussell (Agatha
Christie’s Marple).

The Poirot stories are co-produced by ITV Studios and Agatha Christie
Ltd, a Chorion company, and US network WGBH. Mammoth Screen’s
Michele Buck and Damien Timmer executive produce Poirot on behalf
of ITV Studios. Rebecca Eaton is executive producer for WGBH, with
David Suchet as associate producer.           ITV Global holds international
distribution rights.


                                CAST LIST


Hercule Poirot ...................................................... David Suchet

Sir Charles Cartwright ............................................Martin Shaw

Egg Lytton Gore .............................................. Kimberley Nixon

Sir Bartholomew Strange ............................................ Art Malik

Supt. Crossfield ............................................... Tony Maudsley



Poirot: Three Act Tragedy                                                     3
Miss Wills ........................................................... Kate Ashfield

Oliver Manders .................................................... Tom Wisdom

Lady Mary ................................................................ Jane Asher

Captain Dacres .................................................... Ronan Vibert

Cynthia Darces .................................................. Anastasia Hille

Miss Milray ...................................................... Suzanne Bertish

Annie.................................................................... Jodie McNee

George ............................................................... David Yelland

Mrs Babbington .................................................. Anna Carteret

Rev. Babbington ................................................. Nigel Pegram




                                 SYNOPSIS

Poirot visits Cornwall to attend a dinner hosted by his friend, the
retired actor Sir Charles Cartwright. When guest and amiable local



Poirot: Three Act Tragedy                                                        4
Reverend Babbington chokes to death on his cocktail, Poirot cannot
see how murder can have been committed, much to Charles insistence
of foul play.


With the exception of Sir Charles’s friends Sir Bartholomew Strange, a
nerve doctor whose experiments into the mind have made his
sanatorium renowned, and the beautiful and enigmatic Miss Egg Lytton
Gore, any one of the eclectic mix of guests might have taken the glass.
The inquisitive playwright Mrs Wills, bickering couple Captain Dacres
and his wife, the celebrated dressmaker Cynthia, faithful housekeeper
Miss Milray, the rakish young suitor of Miss Lytton Gore’s, Oliver
Manders, or her protective mother Lady Mary.


There seems to be no motive for murder and, as Poirot predicts, no
trace of poison is found in the Reverend’s glass. Poirot and Charles
each take their annual holiday to Monte Carlo, dismissing the event as
an unfortunate accident. That is until a newspaper announces
Bartholomew Strange’s death, causing the friends to abandon their
holiday. Mrs Milray, meanwhile, takes leave from Charles’ house to
visit her sick mother.


Strange choked to death at a dinner party he was hosting with many of
the same guests who attended Charles previous party, dropping dead
minutes after Oliver Manders appeared uninvited having faked a
motorcycle crash outside his estate. Poirot and Charles travel to
Strange’s home in Yorkshire where Charles is determined to solve his
friend’s death and to impress Egg, with whom he has fallen in love.
Local Inspector Crossfield is grateful for the pair’s help with the case,
particularly as he is a fan of Charles’.


Again, no trace of poison is found in Strange’s glass but a mortuary
report confirms that the doctor was poisoned with nicotine, used to
spray flowers. This time the circumstances seem much more
suspicious. A butler who was working temporarily at the house has
disappeared, leaving the housemaid to remark that Strange was
uncharacteristically jovial with him, as though they shared a private
joke. Further complicating the mystery are a telephone message about



Poirot: Three Act Tragedy                                                   5
a patient at Strange’s sanatorium and a secret tunnel within the walls
of his house of which everyone has heard rumours but none have
found.


As Charles and Egg become engaged to be married, Poirot continues
to enlist both their help with solving the case. They discover that Mrs
Milray’s mother is already dead and Captain Dacres lets slip in a
drunken stupor that Strange’s mind experiments prevented a windfall
to his wife’s ailing fashion empire. As the mysterious butler is still to
be identified and his references are found to be faked, Mrs Wills tells
them that she noticed a birthmark on his wrist as he served at the
dinner party.




Then comes a third victim - the sanatorium patient who was the
subject of the telephone message is poisoned with a box of
chocolates, sent anonymously, on the eve of her requested meeting
with Poirot. Her murder finally enables the Belgium detective to make
sense of the reason for the Rev Babbington’s death. As everyone
gathers for the dress rehearsal of Mrs Wills’ latest play, Poirot explains
that this was a tragedy played out in three perfectly executed acts...



 The above synopsis is published in the production notes for forward
 planning purposes only. Please do not reproduce entirely and do not
                publish the end of the story. Many thanks.




Poirot: Three Act Tragedy                                                   6
                             MARTIN SHAW IS SIR CHARLES
                                       CARTWRIGHT

                            Although they are poles apart in some
                            respects, Martin Shaw and his character




Poirot: Three Act Tragedy                                         7
have one small detail in common. They are both established actors...


“Sir Charles Cartwright is an old time, rather grand actor in the
Laurence Olivier mould. He’s very well educated, extremely rich and
very insecure about his age and his standing in the world. He manages
to cover it all up under this exterior of celebrity, fame and a great deal
of wealth. Plus he’s an old friend of Poirot’s.”

Martin resists the temptation to play around with an audience he
knows will be scrutinising each and every character for clues.


“Audiences are much more sophisticated nowadays and they want to
be genuinely intrigued about who did what and when. And so all of us
who are suspects are playing it in a very unobvious way to try and
confuse the audience even more! The stories are always so very well
constructed that they require a certain amount of brainpower on
behalf of the audience. Almost everything we actors have to do [these
days] is over explained because TV executives are terrified of the
audience not understanding [a drama], moment by moment. Agatha
Christie doesn’t do that and I think audiences like that – they like to be
treated as intelligent.”

Martin has been keen to star in Poirot for some time, even more so
since meeting David Suchet and discussing the possibilities.


“David and I had discussed this quite a long time ago, because we
meet from time to time at various functions. We shared a table at an
awards ceremony once and we chatted and both agreed that we liked
each other’s work a lot. It seemed a bit daft that there was a
convention that if you had your own TV series, you couldn’t appear in
anybody else’s. Both David and I thought that was silly and that at the
earliest opportunity we would break that convention by working with
each other. And so the opportunity came up and I jumped at it! I like
David very much – he’s one of our very finest actors and I like his
outlook on life and work. We just blended very well together. I had a
great time doing Three Act Tragedy - it’s one of the happiest times I
can remember. It was a lovely show to work on.



Poirot: Three Act Tragedy                                               8
“Of course, Poirot is also a product that’s been going on for a very
long time and a convention has arisen that established actors come
along as guest artists. And I think that really is a tribute to the quality
of the show and to David. The films will always be attractive to actors
provided they are done well and, of course, if David Suchet is in them,
they invariably are, not least because he is an associate producer and
is able to impose some artistic input.”

Martin believes Poirot’s success is down to the fact that the current
productions breathe fresh life into classic stories.


“Paradoxically, Poirot is something different, something we have seen
evolving. We’ve all grown up on that old fashioned black and white,
over dramatised, over played, over demonstrated way of playing
Agatha Christie. And I think the new generation of actors - and I
include myself here because I have been wanting to work this way
since the early 1960s - can do these old, old fashioned stories in a
modern and realistic way. It’s a different slant on an old topic.”

And why does Martin think David Suchet’s Poirot is so well loved
throughout the world?


“If I knew that, he laughs, I would be a very rich producer!”




Poirot: Three Act Tragedy                                                9
                        PRODUCTION CREDITS




Executive Producers .......................................... Michele Buck

....................................................................Damien Timmer

........................................................................... Phil Clymer

...................................................................... Rebecca Eaton

Chairman Agatha Christie Ltd .....................Mathew Pritchard

Creative Executive ......................................... Charity Massey


Poirot: Three Act Tragedy                                                           10
Writer .................................................................... Nick Dear

Producer ...................................................... Karen Thrussell

Director ......................................................... Ashley Pearson

Line Producer ........................................... Matthew Hamilton

Casting Director ............................................... Susie Parriss

Script Editor.................................................... Jennie Scanlon

Production Designer ........................................... Jeff Tessler

Costume Designer .......................................... Sheena Napier

Hair & Make up Designer ................................. Pam Haddock




Poirot: Three Act Tragedy                                                         11

				
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