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Torquay’s Festival to the Queen of Crime

Agatha Christie, the world’s best-selling crime and mystery writer, was born in the English seaside town of Torquay in Devon on 15 September 1890. Now over several days each September this holiday resort holds Agatha Christie Week. This celebrates the life and work of a remarkable woman who created detectives like Hercule Poirot and amateur sleuths like Miss Marple.

Guided Walks at the Agatha Christie Festival

The Agatha Christie Week brings together a number of ways of exploring and enjoying the work of Dame Agatha, one of these being the chance to join guided walks around Torquay. These take in some of the places she knew, and which in some cases were to have formative influences on her life.

Radio Mystery Plays at the Agatha Christie Festival

At the Agatha Christie Festival one of the new features was a chance for visitors to enjoy a 3-course meal at the Imperial Hotel (which itself features in Agatha Christie’s books) while enjoying two of the radio plays that Agatha Christie wrote. Performed by the Agatha Christie Theatre Company as if in a BBC radio studio, the two thirty-minute radio dramas were Personal Call and Butter in a Lordly Dish.

Other Events during Agatha Christie Week

During the Festival there are naturally book readings, talks and discussions, and special visits organised to places such as Agatha Christie’s holiday home at nearby Greenway.

There are writing workshops for the would-be crime or mystery writer, Murder Mystery Dinners, film shows, and performances of some of Agatha Christie’s stage plays. These events vary each year, of course, but in 2009 the movie being shown was the classic 1974 version of Murder on the Orient Express, while the stage plays performed included Spider’s Web and Witness for the Prosecution.

Most events are in Torquay, though there are also some special events at other places such as Greenway. In 2009 Greenway was the starting point for a Classic Car Treasure Hunt, and also the Greenway Literary Dining Club. This gives a chance to explore the house and grounds at Greenway before enjoying cocktails followed by dinner, and a chaired discussion of Dead Man’s Folly and other Christie stories.

Further Information on the Agatha Christie Festival

For more information on the annual Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay, visit the special Agatha Christie pages on the English Riviera website.

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