REVIEW: Poirot debut created a tried and tested formula - for good reason

Great cast: With numerous good performances

Great cast: With numerous good performances

First published in This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Richmond and Twickenham

Agatha Christie’s Black Coffee is exactly what theatre-goers have come to expect from the revered murder mystery writer.

Having never seen David Suchet’s interpretation of the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, I felt at ease to enjoy the performance with an open mind.

And Robert Powell, already recognisable as a detective in Jasper Carrott’s sitcom The Detectives, delighted in the role of the nation’s favourite moustachioed detective.

Quick-witted and with the ability of making others look foolish, Poirot sets about solving the murder of Sir Claud Amory (Ric Recate).

Assisted by the bumbling but well-meaning Arthur Hastings (Robert McCallum), Poirot retraces the previous evening’s actions to the point of obsession, with a penchant for neatness.

The arrival of the mysterious Doctor Carelli (Gary Mavers) attracts the wily old dog’s attention early on in his investigation but is the brash Italian merely a red herring in the story?

Liza Goddard and Felicity Houlbrooke put in sterling performances as the comical, if unlikely, mother and daughter duo Caroline and Barbara Amory.

As the relationship between Richard Amory (Ben Nealon) and his wife Lucia (Olivia Mace) unravels, the famous Belgian has a job on his hands to track down the murderer.

Other performances of note include Mark Jackson as secretary Edward Raynor and the ever-so-British Inspector Japp (Eric Carte).

Catch Black Coffee at Richmond Theatre this week, with performances running until Saturday, February 15. Visit for further details.

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