Theatre group puts Christie ‘Whodunnit’ on the streets

Oxford Mail: Rebecca Mordan, left, and Shazz Andrew, of Scary Little Girls, will be staging a Murder In The Village production in Chipping Norton, starting tonight. Picture: OX68499 Damian Halliwell Buy this photo Rebecca Mordan, left, and Shazz Andrew, of Scary Little Girls, will be staging a Murder In The Village production in Chipping Norton, starting tonight. Picture: OX68499 Damian Halliwell

FROM the Orient Express to a boat on the Nile, Agatha Christie’s novels have seen murder most horrid across the globe.

But the latest mystery will be in Chipping Norton as a theatre group turn the streets into an outdoor set while the audience tries to guess “whodunnit”.

The Scary Little Girls live theatre group has teamed up with Chipping Norton Theatre for a Murder in the Village interactive outdoor performance, starting tonight.

It will involve groups of about 20 people walking through secret locations in the town, where they will meet characters from crime author Agatha Christie’s novels and given clues to solve the murder.

Scary Little Girls artistic director Rebecca Mordan said: “We will be taking people into different parts of Chipping Norton which they don’t normally see.

“Agatha Christie’s books look at the dark side of humanity, as she would say, ‘one must see so much evil in a village’.

“It’s about the everyday and the worst of us mixed together.

“Chipping Norton is a very adorable little town, but we want to create this dark human behaviour beneath the surface. It’s hard to imagine anything bad happening there but that’s what her books rely on. It’s the perfect setting because it just looks like it’s unchanged by time.”

Ms Mordan, who has previously worked in the town for literary walks and treasure hunts, said she had been asked by theatre-goers to create a performance inspired by the work of Christie, who is buried in Cholsey, near Wallingford.

The one-hour walks will be led by a guide and the group will explore unusual areas of the town, including random houses and alleyways.

Hidden characters, performed by actors, will include Miss Marple, Poirot and Dolly Bantry, who will represent different extracts from about four of Agatha Christie’s novels to create a single storyline.

Ms Mordan said: “It’s one crime, but allows us to take different parts of the books. It’s all part of the element of surprise and each actor you meet has 10 to 15 minutes with the group.

“They will be in places where you perhaps wouldn’t expect to be going and they are all quirky parts of the small town.

“People will be able to appreciate what a good writer Agatha Christie was. She wrote with such charm and was very witty.

“It will be a quintessentially English experience with these quirky English characters, all in a lovely setting.”

  • Walks will take place today from 5.30pm, 6.10pm and 6.50pm, and tomorrow and Sunday from 3pm, 3.40pm, 4.20pm, 5pm and 5.40pm. Tickets cost £14 from the theatre. Call 01608 642350.

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