Poirot And More At The Rep, Birmingham

David Suchet has had one hell of a career. A renowned character actor of over 50 years,  he has a role call of films and television that is to be proud of. Add into that his leading roles as a Shakespearian actor and you begin to understand that having David Suchet in a production is a sign of quality. And then there is Poirot...

From the late 1980s David Suchet was Poirot, Agatha Christie’s beloved Belgium detective, playing him in a way that nobody had before, ultra intelligent, fastidious, with clear attention to detail, and also with a personality that was there to admire, rather than make fun of. Now, in an absorbing theatre show ‘Poirot and More’, David is delighting audiences with anecdotes and stories from his long career, in conversation with his long time friend and TV presenter Geoffrey Wansell. I went to see this retrospective at Birmingham’s Rep theatre yesterday and was thoroughly entertained.

David is a skilled raconteur, he brings stories and characters to life with warmth and ease. Key amongst these are his mother and grandmother, both of whom had an entertainment background and fostered his love of acting as a profession. His first meeting with wife Sheila is beautifully presented, as was early theatre experiences with his mother always in the audience. Funny tales of theatre mishaps delight the audience, as does the performance of a speech from Amadeus, in which David played Salieri, initially as an old man, much to the confusion of some of his American audience (another hilarious story…’is that Poirot???’)

Because of course, the conversation must turn to Poirot, one of the greatest literary creations of all time. Suchet was handpicked by the daughter of Agatha Christie to recreate her beloved character for tv, and is now synonymous with the little Belgium with the funny moustache. Suchet brought out Poirot’s actual cane onto the stage, and also treated audiences to hilarious stories of fan encounters, including one which he had to answer in full character. You can see the love that Suchet had for Poirot, the notes he made to give full justice to the character, how he created the quintessential portrayal of a legendary creation, one that will never be bettered, and is being watched somewhere in the World every single minute.

If you are a fan of David Suchet’s Poirot, or just a fan of the world of acting in general, then Poirot and More is a masterclass you don’t want to miss. It is simply wonderful.

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