Curtain Up - Agatha Christie: A Life in Theatre

How many have read the whole book yet? Any highlights/gems to share?
I've just got a copy and it's a very large thorough work.It will take me some time to read it,but I'm looking forward to it!


  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    I really liked this book, particularly Green's coverage of Hubert Gregg's largely one-sided feud with Christie and descriptions of the revisions Christie made to her work.
  • I have contemplated many times on whether to buy this book or not but I was worried that it wouldn't really say much or provide more insight into Christie's plays. 

    @GKCfan, are there any insights in revisions that Christie make to her plays in the book? What other interesting insights does the book say concerning her plays that are new and never been said before? 
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    Green had access to never before-seen files from the Christie Archives.  There's a lot on her revisions.  Christie often made radical changes and innovative stylistic choices, and often had to change things to make them more traditional in terms of plot and staging.  We see never before-seen drafts, and a lot of focus into how Christie stressed characterization and streamlined the plots.
  • edited October 2016
    @GKCfan, are there any handwritten copies of drafts produced in the book as in John Curran's Agatha Christie's Notebooks?

    Interesting how you say that Christie stressed characterization in her plays because a lot of times I hear from the critics that she was lousy with characterization and often produced flat, one-dimensional, stereotypical characters. 
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    Green takes issue with a lot of the critics, and much of the time I agree with his more positive assessments.  I don't recall seeing any handwritten drafts in the book.
  • @GKCfan, overall do you think this book is worth buying and owning?
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    Personally, I think it's a great book for Agatha Christie fans.  If you enjoyed John Curran's work, Curtain Up deserves a place on your shelves.
  • @GKCfan, then I will definitely buy myself a copy of the book :)  I love to read about Agatha Christie's thought processes and the hard work that she put into her books and I would love to hear that same kind of effort in her plays. John Curran gave a good sample of a look into her plays and the thoughts processes that went into that, but a whole book that explores this is a feast to an Agatha Christie fan. 
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    I hope that you enjoy it!
  • @GKCfan, I bought the book and am now awaiting it in the mail now. But as I'm waiting, are there any interesting bits, any interesting quotes from the book to share about Christie's plays? 
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    Here's some information:

    –Christie's version of "Towards Zero" was very different than the current stage version, which was adapted largely by someone else.

    –Christie's daughter often didn't want her to write plays, so Christie ignored her daughter's advice because she thought it was worth the risk.

    –Christie is far and away England's most successful female playwright, but she has been ignored by most histories of the theatre.

    Plus, numerous never-published or performed plays have been unearthed and discussed.
  • edited October 2016
    Thank goodness Christie ignored her daughter's advice. What a wonderful risk that Christie took! 

    Question: does the book "spoil" and reveal any of the play's endings and whodunit?
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    Most of the book avoids major spoilers, but at times Green gives some serious hints or clues that might spoil some of the plays.
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