Thursday, 31 October 2013

Dead Man's Folly

Last night I watched David Suchet as ITV's Hercules Poirot, in Dead Man's Folly, filmed at Agatha Christie's holiday home Greenway, near Dartmouth, a place I was lucky enough to visit soon after it was opened to the public in 2009.

Agatha Christie's Greenway

Owned by the National Trust, Greenway is in a stunning location approximately 3 miles up river from Dartmouth. To add to the sense of 'stepping back in time' you can reach the property by steam train on the Dartmouth Steam Railway or by paddle-steamer on the Kingswear Castle.

Sadly, the series currently being shown on ITV, the thirteenth, is to be Hercules Poirot's final outing. So it seems fitting that this episode was filmed at the house which once belonged to Agatha Christie herself. Although she never actually wrote here - she would often visit having recently completed a novel - she entertained her guests by reading an extract from her latest book.

Dead Man's Folly was filmed in June this year and, amazingly, the house and its grounds remained open to the public throughout. Visitors were more than happy to alter or curtail their tours to accommodate the filming schedule. And why not? It must have been a wonderful sight to see the house and garden inhabited by residents dressed in 1930s costume - like a window into the past.

In the story, Zoe Wanamaker plays the mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver who has written a 'Murder Hunt' for the summer fete (treasure hunts having been deemed to be too old-hat). At one point, she tells Poirot that she was greatly relieved to be at 'Nasse House', as it has enabled her to get out of an Author Talk. "I have an idea, I write a book," she says to Poirot. "That takes care of the first minute. So what am I supposed to say for the next 59?"

Ha! If only it were that easy! Ms Christie's little joke, perhaps? Or maybe not...  She was one of the world's most prolific writers, after all.

No comments:

Post a Comment