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Agatha Christie fans in for a crime treat to mark the 25th anniversary of her death

  • Attn: Book and Theatre Corrs.

Agatha Christie devotees will enjoy a series of key events this year planned to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the death of Britain's best selling novelist on January 12, 1976.

Fans of the Queen of Crime can look forward to theatre and film festivals dedicated to her works as well as a major British Museum exhibition, two new TV films and a ground-breaking book re-jacketing programme.

Mathew Prichard, grandson of Dame Agatha Christie and Chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd, said: "Everybody connected with my grandmother - whether members of her family or the people who manage her business - are looking forward with great excitement to the events planned to mark the 25th year of her death. Two new Poirot TV films, a theatre festival at Westcliff-on-Sea and an exhibition at the British Museum in November are living proof of her continued - and even increased - popularity. We are all very proud of her."

Agatha Christie is widely acknowledged as the world's best-selling novelist whose 79 novels and short story collections have sold an astonishing two billion copies around the world and have been translated into over 50 languages.

Among some of the associated Christie events planned for 2001 are:

  • `Agatha Christie and the Orient' (British Museum)

The British Museum's `Agatha Christie and the Orient' is scheduled to open in November this year and will run until March 2002. The exhibition celebrates Christie's close involvement with the world of archaeology and includes photos and film footage taken on regular visits to various sites in the Near East with her archaeologist husband Max Mallowan. Many Christie books reflect the influence of these trips including Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express, Death Comes as the End (set in Mesopotamia 2000 BC) and Murder in Mesopotamia (LWT will be screening a TV movie based on this novel - see below).

The exhibition will also feature a range of memorabilia and personalia including cameras used by Christie on her trips to Ur, Nineveh and other sites in the Near East and first edition novels. A full-size imitation compartment from the Orient Express will also be on display.

  • Agatha Christie Theatre Festival 2001 (Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex)

The New Palace Theatre Company is presenting the first ever Agatha Christie Theatre Festival to run 8th May to 28th July. The festival, which takes place at the Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, will feature all of Christie's 25 plays, including a semi-staged performance of the West End production of The Mousetrap using all of the actors of the West End cast of the `World's Longest Running Play.' This is the first time The Mousetrap has been licensed in the UK outside of the West End since it launched in 1952.

  • Crime Scene 2001 (National Film Theatre, London)

Crime Scene 2001 - the annual crime and mystery film and TV festival - will be marked by a special retrospective devoted to the best adaptations of Agatha Christie's works for film and television. Crime Scene 2001, the second annual festival of crime fiction and film, runs July 13-16 at the National Film Theatre, London.

  • Two New Poirot TV movies (LWT)

Two new episodes of the ever-popular LWT Poirot series - featuring David Suchet as the inimitable Belgian sleuth - are scheduled for broadcast this spring. The two new 120-minute TV movies are Murder in Mesopotamia and Evil Under the Sun.

  • HarperCollins Publishing Programme

HarperCollins, the UK publisher of Agatha Christie's novels, is planning a major new re-jacketing programme for Poirot and Miss Marple books . HarperCollins will start to re-issue the re-jacketed books this year with up to 20 Poirots. The new covers have been designed to reflect a more contemporary feel and to appeal to a new generation of Christie readers.

At the same time, HarperCollins will also be re-publishing the lesser-known Tommy and Tuppence series of crime novels with newly designed jackets. There are four novels and one short story collection in the husband-and-wife Tommy and Tuppence series.

Notes to Editors:

Chorion Intellectual Properties owns the rights to a portfolio of classic literary brands which includes the works of two of the most popular and widely read writers ever, children's author Enid Blyton and `Queen of Crime' Agatha Christie. Chorion is actively involved in managing, developing and promoting the works and associated characters of its authors across all new and traditional media, including, publishing, film, television, merchandising and the Internet.

SOURCE Agatha Christie Ltd

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