Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

A Crime Is Brewing as Long Lost Poirot Play Returns to the Stage ; Jason Durr Plays the Belgian Detective in Black Coffee - a Story from Agatha Christie Last Performed in the Theatre 40 Years Ago

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

A Crime Is Brewing as Long Lost Poirot Play Returns to the Stage ; Jason Durr Plays the Belgian Detective in Black Coffee - a Story from Agatha Christie Last Performed in the Theatre 40 Years Ago

Article excerpt

CTOR Jason Durr is no stranger to a good murder mystery.

AFor six years, he starred in TV series Heartbeat as PC Mike Bradley, but he's chalked up appearances in several other top cop shows as well: Midsomer Murders, New Tricks and Inspector Morse among them.

He has been the hunter and the hunted, too. "I've played the sort of sociopath character in the Lynda La Plante adaptation, Above Suspicion, being chased by the police," says Jason, "and the detective looking for the bad guy!

"I grew up with Peter Falk playing Columbo, and with Sherlock Holmes - the latter of which I've managed to play also. What draws me to murder mysteries is a very good agent," he laughs, "but it's really all in the writing. I've been very fortunate to play cracking parts on both sides of the law."

More recently, Jason did a spot of Agatha Christie, cast in one of her Miss Marple stories. But his latest role puts him in the shoes and distinctive moustache of the man who is arguably Christie's most iconic character - Hercule Poirot, the great Belgian detective, in her 1930 debut stage play Black Coffee.

"I am indeed playing an icon," laughs Jason, "and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's a great part to play and a role that people like David Suchet and Sir Peter Ustinov have performed - so it's nice to be up there with the greats. Black Coffee is the only play Christie wrote with Poirot in it, and it was last done on stage 40 years ago and never since. So David never played it; for the Poirot aficionados, there's that appeal."

Black Coffee places Poirot at the centre of a murder on an English country estate, where famous physicist Sir Claud Amory is dead and the potentially lucrative scientific formula he has been working on is missing. Starring alongside Jason are Georgina Leonidas (Katie Bell in the final Harry Potter movies), Deborah Grant (Not Going Out, Peak Practice) and Oliver Mellor (Dr Matt Carter in Corrie). …

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