The English Riviera Tourism Company announced its best line-up of stars ever, a big programme of glamorous events and a brand-new event hub for the Agatha Christie Festival (15th – 22nd September 2013).
Celebrating the life of the Queen of Crime is what it’s all about. Agatha Christie was born in Torquay and the world-famous festival has Devon’s English Riviera buzzing with visitors from around the globe. Walking off with 2 prestigious awards last year including Visit Devon’s prestigious Tourism Event of the Year accolade, this year’s festival is expected to be an absolute sell-out.
For the first time in 2013 there will be a vibrant ‘Festival Hub’ at the sea-facing Grand Hotel in Torquay where Agatha Christie stayed on her honeymoon. Festivalgoers will also be able to visit Greenway, her beautiful holiday residence stunningly located on the banks of the idyllic River Dart and can also meet Agatha Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard as well as the enigmatic Hercule Poirot (Martin Gaisford).
A trio of world-class authors will include Kate Mosse and Simon Brett plus top crime and thriller writer, Val McDermid with some exciting literary events.
Exciting Literary Events:
VAL MCDERMID headlines the 2013 Agatha Christie Festival Literary Dinner
From the Queen of Crime to the acknowledged queen of the psychological thriller, this year’s festival is pleased to announce that top-billing crime and thriller author Val McDermid will be appearing at the Festival’s Literary Dinner at Torquay’s Grand Hotel. McDermid is a top ten best seller and has been translated into over 30 languages. Val’s latest novel, Cross and Burn, her 27th novel, will be out in October 2013. A regular broadcaster with BBC Radio, Val’s five-part Woman’s Hour drama Village SOS, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 2011 Val also presented BBC Radio 4 serial The Chalet School, in which she talked about how the series of books inspired her education and career. She has presented Pick of the Week on BBC Radio 4 and has fronted several features for BBC Two’s The Culture Show. The popular ITV series Wire in the Blood, based on McDermid’s books and starring Robson Green as Tony Hill, ran for an impressive six series. A 3-part ITV drama of Val’s A Place of Execution was broadcast in the autumn of 2007 to great critical acclaim and won the 2010 Edgar Award for Best Screenplay. Val recently had her first children’s book published – My Granny is a Pirate! Spectacularly successful festival appearances followed creating a new, and somewhat younger, following.
Val’s appearance is expected to be a big draw, so get your tickets now for this fabulous 3-course literary dinner! Thursday 19th September, 6.30pm
KATE MOSSE AND SIMON BRETT starring on the Festival’s Literary Panel
This is another must-see, top event as best-selling authors Kate Mosse and Simon Brett join the Agatha Christie Festival as special guests for a Literary Panel event at the Grand Hotel, Torquay. Both authors will be talking about inspirations they have drawn from Agatha Christie. David Brawn, Publisher at HarperCollins, publishing Agatha Christie since 1926 will join Kate and Simon.
Kate Mosse is the best-selling author of Labyrinth, which was translated into more than 37 languages and recently appeared on television as a two-part adaptation on Channel 4. In October 2007, the second novel in the Languedoc Trilogy was published. Sepulchre was also a No.1 bestseller in the UK and an international bestseller. The third in the Languedoc trilogy, Citadel has been published in October 2012.
Simon Brett is a well-loved and prolific writer of whodunnits having penned the Charles Paris, Mrs Pargeter and Fethering series of crime novels. He is also responsible for a number of radio and television series such as No Commitments and After Henry. Simon is a member of the Detectives Club, of which Agatha Christie was a founding member.
Early booking is also recommended for the Literary Panel. Friday 20th September, 7.30pm
Agatha Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard, will be hosting a special event with a mystery guest (further details to be announced) on Thursday, 19th September from 4 – 5pm at the Festival Hub at Torquay’s Grand Hotel.
There is a huge range of events to attend and many visitors do attend six or more of them during the week. Celebrations, dressing-up, glamour, elegant dining and literary fun are all on the menu so savvy visitors check the programme and book their favourites well in advance. To browse events visit www.englishriviera.co.uk/agathachristie and you can book by calling 01803-211211.
MORE NEW EVENTS FOR 2013:
NEW! Cocktails, Costumes, Cake and Cole Porter
Time to put on your glad rags and enjoy a birthday celebration for the Queen of Crime at her honeymoon hotel. Enjoy a themed cocktail and a piece of Delicious Death cake before enjoying a sing-along with a Cole Porter trio, who’ve come to the festival especially all the way from Paris. Sunday 15th September, 6.00pm
NEW! An Archaeologist’s View of Northern Iraq in the 1950s
The English Riviera’s home of archaeology, Kents Cavern, hosts a three course dinner, tour of the caves and talk from eminent archaeologist Dr Joan Oates, who worked at Nimrud with Max Mallowan and his wife Agatha Christie-Mallowan. With a brief introduction to Nimrud, the talk will focus on their Friday picnics including visits to the Yezidi ‘Spring Festival’, the monastery at Al Qosh and picnics in Kurdistan. There will be a wine reception. Tuesday 17th September, 6.30pm
NEW! 1940s-1950s party aboard the Fairmile
It’s time to put down your pens and reading books, relax and dress up on for a 1940s and 50s soiree aboard the WWII 1940s heritage ship the Fairmile. There’ll be music from the era with canapés and a welcome glass of bubbly served while you cruise around South Devon’s beautiful bay. Wednesday 18th September, 7pm departure from Torquay, 8pm departure from Paignton
NEW AND EXCLUSIVE! Cream Tea and First Editions at Greenway
Visit Greenway behind closed doors for this exclusive event designed specifically for the Agatha Christie Festival. Travel on the Agatha Christie Vintage Bus to Greenway where for the FIRST TIME ever you will be able to hold their collection of Agatha Christie first editions (with gloves of course!). Cream teas will be served. Monday 16th September, 11.30am, 1.00pm and 2.30pm
THEATRE: Go Back For Murder – Opening Night
Guarantee yourself great seats for the opening night of this year’s production from the official Agatha Christie Theatre Company at the Princess Theatre, Torquay. Suspects, secrets, and red herrings abound in this thrilling new production. Monday 16th September, 7.30pm
A FEW FESTIVAL FAVOURITES:
Long-standing Festival Favourites are:
FESTIVAL FAVOURITE: Burgh Island Lunch with Island Walk
Dress in appropriate period attire and visit the famous Art Deco retreat where Agatha wrote Evil Under the Sun & And Then There Were None; enjoy a period lunch with classic dishes from the ‘20s and ‘30s and end with a grand tour of the island itself, including the hotel’s private grounds, during which Gary “McBar” will point out the significant markers in Christie’s writing history. Tuesday & Thursday 17th & 19th September, 12.30 for 1 pm – ends 3.30 pm.
FESTIVAL FAVOURITE: Murder Mystery on the Dining Train
Board the Riviera Belle Dining Train for an evening of murder and mystery in conjunction with the Candlelight Theatre Company. You will be greeted on the platform with a glass of sparkling wine. Cuisine will be provided by Hennessy Restaurant, Torquay. Let time pass you by as you prepare to savour a new and exciting gastronomic experience, but be on your guard at all times. Tuesday & Saturday 17th & 21st September, 7.30pm
Blissful trips to Greenway are another of the many highlights with fans travelling by steam train; riverboat and vintage bus to enjoy spending time at the home Agatha Christie called ‘The loveliest place in the world’.
For lots more about the famous Agatha Christie Festival and to book your tickets now, please visit the dedicated website at: www.englishriviera.co.uk/agathachristie
Main Festival sponsor HarperCollins has been publishing Agatha Christie’s novels since 1926.