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Towards Zero

Towards Zero
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Agatha Christie with Gerald Verner
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 120
Pub. Date: 2017
ISBN-10: 0573706336
ISBN-13: 9780573706332
Cast Size: 4 women, 7 men

About the Play:

Towards Zero is mystery adapted for the stage by Agatha Christie, in collaboration with Gerald Verner, from her 1944 novel of the same name. A classic whodunnit, mixing mystery with murder. Several guests have been invited for the weekend. Tensions between a few of them become deadly and a murder is committed with all the evidence pointing to one person.

Towards Zero begins when Lady Tressilian, an old and humourless woman confined to her bed, invites several guests into her seaside home of Gull's Point for two weeks at the end of the summer. The house party turns sour when tennis star Nevile Strange, former ward of Lady Tressilian's deceased husband, incurs her displeasure by bringing along his new wife, Kay, knowing that ex-wife, Audrey, will also be present, thus causing awkward romantic misunderstandings. It's all part of a carefully laid plan – for murder… When the elderly widow is murdered Neville Strange, her nephew finds himself caught between his ex-wife Audrey and his new flame Kay. What is the connection between a failed suicide attempt, a wrongful accusation of theft against a schoolgirl and the romantic life of a famous tennis player? To the casual observer, apparently nothing. Superintendent Battle, who is holidaying nearby in the home of his nephew, finds himself in a labyrinthine maze of clues and deception. A nail-biting thriller – the play probes the psychology of jealousy in the shadow of a savage and brutal murder. A carefully investigation unpeeled before our eyes as Superintendent Battle brings the story to a pointed ending.

Towards Zero premiered in 1956 at the St James Theatre in the West End of London. The reviews were favourable and the play ran for a year. It did not play on Broadway and had to wait until 1977 for its American premiere at the Olney Theatre in Olney, Maryland, and then Pulse Theare in New York City in 2001. While the play is rarely performed professionally, it has become a popular choice for school and community theatre productions.

Cast: 4 women, 7 men

What people say:

"A double parlour game – before guessing the killer's name, we are invited to guess who is going to be killed." — The Observer (London)

"An evening in which we do not smell a rat until too late." — The Times (London)

About the Playwright:

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in English with another billion in foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time and, in many languages, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. In a writing career that spanned more than half a century, Agatha Christie wrote 66 crime novels, 150 short story collections, over 20 plays, and six novels written under the name Mary Westmacott. Her work includes Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, and the genre-defining And Then There Were None. In addition several of her original works were adapted for the stage by third parties.

Gerald Verner (1897-1980) is the pseudonym used by British writer John Robert Stuart Pringle who was a writer of thrillers, writing wrote more than 120 novels translated into over 35 languages. Many of these were adapted into radio serials, stage plays, and films.