Acclaimed Marple play at Cumbernauld Theatre

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JANET Prince admits the prospect of taking centre stage in Murder, Marple and Me was daunting at first.

“I had never done a one-woman show before,” said Janet of her trepidation on being offered all three parts in this touring production from Gilded Balloon.

However, she clearly overcame any initial jitters as the show – which tells of the complex dynamic between crime novelist Agatha Christie and Margaret Rutherford, the actress chosen to play Christie’s female sleuth Jane Marple on the silver screen for the first time. Janet portrays both women as well as the fictional character during the course of the play, which has already won acclaim on the Edinburgh Fringe and repeatedly sold out the “wee room” at the Gilded Balloon.

“The show has of course attracted people who are interested in both Margaret Rutherford and Agatha Christie, but what surprised me was the demographics. I thought this would mainly be of interest to older people, but we’ve been seen by plenty younger people as well.

‘‘Quite a few seem to be curious about how it works as a one-woman show as well. It’s also a fascinating story. Even if you don’t know much about Christie or Rutherford, it’s a true story which is extraordinarily touching and drawn from great subject matter. Phillip Meeks had written it several years ago as a radio drama but it never got picked up, but when Gilded Balloon asked him to do something for me he got it out of its drawer and reworked it. And our director, Stella Duffy, is a crime writer herself.”

“Agatha Christie didn’t want Margaret Rutherford to play Marple and Margaret Rutherford didn’t want to do it either,” said Janet.

Janet says that Christiedom seems to have taken over her life recently. “Not only am I touring with this show, but I’ve been appearing in The Mousetrap in London for the past two months.”

Murder, Marple and Me comes to Cumbernauld Theatre on Friday, February 8.

Tickets, £10/£8, are available on 01236 732887 or