Suchet may take Poirot to West End

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The Independent Culture

For the past two decades, he has delighted British audiences in living-rooms up and down the country with his televised portrayal of the world's most famous Belgian detective.

Now the actor David Suchet is considering bringing his version of the eccentric genius Hercule Poirot to the stage, under plans to adapt one of Agatha Christie's classic detective novels for the theatre.

Suchet told The Stage newspaper that discussions are underway to stage a live version of Poirot – and that it is up to him whether or not the project goes ahead. "There is talk about this and I am in debate at the moment, not with them [the producers] but in my own mind, as to whether to take Poirot on to the stage," the 63-year-old actor said.

"There is part of me that is quite keen to do it. Jeremy Brett did it with Sherlock Holmes and had a very nice time, but Poirot has always been, for me, someone on the screen. However, I could be persuaded either way."

Suchet, who is about to star in a new West End production of Arthur Miller's play All My Sons and whose next screen performance will be in Sky One's Going Postal, added that he would only take part in the project if the play was based on an existing Christie novel, rather than a newly written drama which merely featured the detective. He also ruled out Christie's own Poirot play, Black Coffee, written in 1930.

Christie also wrote The Mousetrap, a murder mystery play with a twist ending which was first staged in the West End in 1952 and has been running continuously ever since.

"I don't want to be in a country-house drama as Poirot on the stage," Suchet said. "If we did it, it would have to be a huge story with a fantastic set, and it would have to be really worthwhile doing. We don't want another whodunnit to run for 30 years, we don't want another Mousetrap."

The actor said he thought that Poirot could only be brought to the stage with him as the lead role, claiming that the public would not want another performer to star.

However, he said he did not know when the stage production would happen.