Classic Drama from the BBC Radio Archive. Hörspiel
June Whitfield stars as Miss Marple in eight thrilling full-cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisations. A Pocket Full of Rye A spate of unusual deaths is linked to the nursery rhyme 'Sing a Song of Sixpence'. 4.50 from Paddington After witnessing a murder on a train, Mrs McGillicuddy calls on Miss Marple. At Bertram's Hotel Crime lurks beneath the surface of a respectable Mayfair hotel. The Body in the Library A mysterious blonde is found murdered in Dolly Bantry's library. The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side At a benefit held at Gossington Hall, harmless Mrs Badcock is fatally poisoned. A Caribbean Mystery Bored in paradise, Miss Marple finds her interest aroused by an old soldier's tale. Murder at the Vicarage Everyone in St Mary Mead detested Colonel Protheroe - but who killed him? A Murder is Announced A startling entry in a local paper's personal column leads to a deadly shooting. These BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations feature eight of Miss Marple's most complex and intriguing cases. Based on the original novels by Agatha Christie, they are performed by a stellar cast. Duration: 16 hours approx.
Agatha Christie, the acknowledged 'Queen of Crime' (The Observer) was born in Torquay in 1890. During the First World War she worked as a hospital dispenser, and it was here that she gleaned the working knowledge of various poisons that was to prove so useful in her detective stories.
Her first novel was The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which introduced Hercule Poirot to the world. This was published in 1920 (although in fact she had written it during the war) and was followed over the next six years by four more detective novels and a short story collection. However, it was not until the publication of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd that Agatha Christie's reputation was firmly established. This novel, with its complex plot and genuinely shocking conclusion, attracted considerable public attention and has since been acknowledged by many experts as a masterpiece. In 1930 the sharp-witted spinster sleuth Miss Marple made her first appearance in The Murder at the Vicarage. In all, Agatha Christie published over 80 novels and short story collections.
The brilliance of Christie's plots, and her enduring appeal, have led to several dramatisations of her work on radio, television and film. In 1930 she was one of a number of crime writers asked to contribute a chapter to a mystery, Behind the Screen, that was broadcast on BBC radio on 21st June that year. More recently, June Whitfield portrayed Miss Marple on BBC Radio 4, whilst John Moffat starred as Hercule Poirot. On screen, Peter Ustinov, David Suchet, Margaret Rutherford, Joan Hickson, Geraldine McEwan and Julia McKenzie have all memorably played Agatha Christie's famous sleuths.
As her play The Mousetrap (the longest-running play in the history of theatre) testifies, Agatha Christie's detective stories are likely to appeal for a long time to come.
Agatha Christie was awarded a CBE in 1956 and was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1971. She died in 1976.