Forum Theatre, Billingham
Initially called in to solve a theft of an important document, Poirot - finely portrayed by Robert Powell (not the first time he has appeared on Teesside) had his work cut out to pick his way through the thickets of clues and red herrings. Naturally he succeeds, although not without difficulty, or the help of his eternal friends Captain Hastings and Inspector Japp. There's a good portion of humour to go alongside the fatal potion. Indeed, the play sometimes feels like a light-hearted Noel Coward outing at times, but it never makes the mistake of going over the top.
Written in 1929, Black Coffee was Agatha Christie's first play and the only to feature her famous Belgian detective. It's also the only Christie Poirot tale not to be made with David Suchet in his most famous role. This new version features a strong cast and an impressive set.
Black Coffee is a very entertaining play. Perhaps we will see Robert Powell back in the Poirot role again some time?