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.

Banner photo: L to R: Bridget Turner, John Scarborough, Ian McKellen, Kristine Howarth.

I played the ancient butler (Tredwell) with hesitant gait and powdered hair.

 

Full Cast List

Next Play: Midnight Matinee