Building on its decade-long success, Bill Kenwright’s Agatha Christie Theatre Company has adopted a new name, The Classic Thriller Company, to expand its repertoire beyond the Queen of Crime and stage Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement in Stone.
This gripping new production is now touring the UK and stops off at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate Theatre in March.
Ruth Rendell’s prolific output included film and TV as well as 80 novels and one of the genre’s most famous characters, Chief Inspector Wexford.
Widely considered to be one of Rendell’s greatest works, A Judgement in Stone is loved for its brilliant rendering of character, plot and motive, and is considered the author at her thrilling best.
Eunice struggles to fit in. When she joins a wealthy family as their housekeeper the very reason for her awkwardness, long hidden and deeply buried, leads inexorably to a terrible tale of murder in cold blood.
Ruth Rendell’s brilliant plot unravels a lifetime of deceit, despair and cover-ups which, when revealed, brings a shocking revelation almost as grizzly as murder itself.
The star cast includes TV and stage favourite Andrew Lancel (Corrie’s villainous Frank Foster) whose theatre credits include playing Captain Von Trapp in the UK Tour of The Sound of Music, and Brian Clough in the premiere of The Damned United.
He is joined by Sophie Ward (Young Sherlock Holmes, Heartbeat) who was recently seen by Northampton audiences in Royal & Derngate’s production of Brave New World.
As a pop-idol in the 1960s Mark Wynter achieved nine Top 20 singles as a recording artist, including Venus in Blue Jeans, and has enjoyed an acting career that has spanned nearly 50 years.
Deborah Grant has starred in the BBC’s Not Going Out, Bergerac and Roger, Roger, and her theatre credits include a West End debut in Barnum with Michael Crawford.
Movie icon Shirley Anne Field has had a long and successful career. Her breakthrough role was as Tina the Beauty Queen opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in The Entertainer, with her role as Doreen in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning following.
Blue’s Antony Costa has stage credits that include the West End production of Blood Brothers and the 10th anniversary tour of Boogie Nights.
Completing the ensemble is Agatha Christie Company stalwart Ben Nealon (ITV’s Soldier Soldier).
The production is directed by another TV detective, Roy Marsden, who played Commander Adam Dalgliesh in Anglia TV’s PD James crime series. He has since carved out a successful career as a director.
A Judgement in Stone plays on the Royal stage from March 27.
2017 UK Tour dates
February 23-25, Birmingham, New Alexandra Theatre
February 27-March 4, Eastbourne, Devonshire Park Theatre
March 6-11, Truro, Hall For Cornwall
March 13-18, Buxton Opera House
March 27-April 1, Northampton, Royal& Derngate Theatre
April 4-8, Cardiff, New Theatre
April 10-15, Weston-super-Mare, Playhouse Theatre
April 18-22, Bromley, Churchill Theatre
April 24-29, Leeds, Leeds Grand Theatre
May 2-6, Malvern, Festival Theatre (Malvern Theatres)
May 8-13, Cheltenham, Everyman Theatre
May 15-20, Tunbridge Wells, Assembly Hall Theatre
May 22-27, Crawley, The Hawth
May 30-June 3, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
June 5-10, Southend-on-Sea, Palace Theatre
June 12-17, Derby Theatre
June 19-24, Glasgow, Theatre Royal
June 26-July 1, Woking, New Victoria Theatre
July 3-8, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
July 10-15, Harrogate Theatre
July 17-22, Stoke-on-Trent, Regent Theatre
July 24-29, Milton Keynes Theatre
July 31-August 5, Newcastle upon Tyne, Theatre Royal
August 19-23, Coventry, Belgrade Theatre
September 25-30, Dartford, Orchard Theatre.