Tickets are now on sale for the Agatha Christie Festival, a nine-day celebration of the Torquay-born Queen of Crime across the English Riviera 7th through 15th September.

An exciting five-day Fringe Festival is followed by a four-day Literary Festival and includes high-profile speakers and performances, as well as fun and quirky literary-themed events in unusual places. 

This year’s Fringe Festival opens with “Sparkling Cyanide – A Scintillating Soiree!” at Brixham Theatre, which is a night of vintage cabaret and burlesque courtesy of The Lucky 7 Club. Other theatrical treats include Murder, She Didn’t Write at Palace Theatre Paignton, which is an improvised murder mystery show that has won multiple awards and sells out every year at the Edinburgh Festival.

Other Fringe Festival highlights include underground cinema at Kents Caven, a Murder Mystery at Paignton Zoo, a Sparkling Tea on the Terrace at the Redcliffe Hotel and an Agatha Christie-themed Model Railway at Torre Abbey, that was featured in the TV series, The Great Model Railway Challenge. The festival organisers are also running minibuses to Greenway and hosting a tea and cake event at All Saints’ Church in Torre where Agatha Miller was baptised.

The Literary Festival will be held in the Spanish Barn at Torre Abbey, with an impressive line-up of speakers who will be chatting about various aspects of Agatha’s life and works, as well as the genre of crime fiction in general. Opening the Literary Festival is a very special headline guest, Lynda La Plante, who will be launching her memoir, Getting Away with Murder: My Unexpected Life on Page, Stage and Screen.

The packed programme continues with Christie experts, academics and enthusiasts, as well as authors discussing every aspect of Agatha’s life, from her travels to her book covers, to the use of jewellery or the role of doctors in her novels. Kemper Donavan from the All About Agatha podcast will again be chairing a panel of experts, this year debating her Greatest Screen Adaptation, while Dr Mark Aldridge will be discuss Miss Marple and introducing a screening of The Murder at the Vicarage.

The Literary Festival closes with very special guests, Ragnar Jónasson (Dark Iceland series) and Benjamin Stevenson (Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone) chatting to Jake Kerridge about their love of Agatha Christie and her influences on their work.

Creative Director of the Agatha Christie Festival, Matt Newbury said; “This year’s Festival is looking like one of the biggest ever, with more than 50 events on sale right across the Bay and beyond. It’s a real celebration of Agatha Christie’s remarkable legacy and continues to attract visitors from right across the world. It will be another step towards our goal of making Torbay as associated with Agatha Christie as Stratford is with Shakespeare. Do join us at one or more of the events if you can.”

The Agatha Christie Festival is a registered charity. The programme of events wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the following organisations: Torbay Council, The English Riviera BID Company, The Colwinston Charitable Trust, The Rosalind Hicks Charitable Trust, The Linbury Trust, The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and Agatha Christie Limited.

The 2024 Festival is delivered under the patronage of the UK National Commission for UNESCO.

To find out more and book tickets, visit www.agathachristiefestival.com

Original story by Julian Barnes on torbaytoday

Image by Mark Passmore Photography: Elizabeth Hadley puts the finishing touches to the clay model of acclaimed crime writer Agatha Christie, at her Brixham studio. Once complete, the model will be used to make a bronze sculpture which will be on public display in Torquay later this year. https://x.com/MarkPassmorePix/status/1709592813690601892