Ian McKellen Stage
 L to R: Bridget Turner, John Scarborough, Ian McKellen, Kristine Howarth.<BR><BR><I>I played the ancient butler (Tredwell) with hesitant gait and powdered hair.</I>
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Midnight Matinee

BLACK COFFEE

Written by Agatha Christie
Directed by Brian Bell
Ian McKellen in the role of Tredwell (the butler)
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
16 October 1961 - 29 October 1961

Words from Ian McKellen

Agatha Christie thrillers were the staple of repertory theatres in the '50s and '60s. This one was mauled by a director who tried simulating a cinematic presentation by lowering the stage lights and concentrating the audience's attention on the "close-up" of some detail. Save me from directors (or actors) with a "concept" - unless, of course, it works! In Black Coffee, it didn't.