Top positive review
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Daft, Charming And Gorgeous Fun!
on 12 September 2000
I do love this magnificently spirited dramatisation of one of the novels from Agatha Christie's Early Loopy Period (such novels as The Mystery Of The Blue Train and The Secret Of Chimneys, and to be distinguished from her Late Loopy Period by its high level of joie de vivre... Christie's later loopiness seems to stem from a feeling that the world has gone so crazy she can write about *anything* and get away with it, see Destination Unknown or Passenger To Frankfurt for evidence...) which is enlivened by a superior performace by Janet Maw as the Poor-But-Honest-Companion-Turned-Fabulously-Wealthy-Heiress-Off-To-Seek-Adventure. (Look, if you don't like stereotypes, stay away from Agatha Christie. She was the *Shakespeare* of the stereotype.)
The Radio 4 team have made the sensible decision to avoid taking the book seriously, and what we have here is an immensely enjoyable hams' holiday with utterly hilarious Rich-Vulgar-Americans, Sly-French-Minxes, Noble-Long-Suffering-Brits, Not-Quite-So-Noble-Not-Very-Long-Suffering-Brits (Can you tell which is which? It's important!) and of course the elegantly presposterous Hercule Poirot all chasing the legendary rubies of Catherine The Great. Which are acted by their very own sound effect. Oh, I tell you it's just delicious... Bravo to the Beeb for this one, and I do hope they decide to to give the High NRG treatment to some other worthy examples of Agatha Christie at her goofiest. The Secret Of Chimneys or The Seven Dials Mystery would respond especially well to the camp treatment used here!