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The Cat and the Canary - Richmond Theatre and on tour

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

BUILDING on the phenomenal decade-long success of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company, Bill Kenwright’s Classic Thriller Theatre Company (Rehearsal For Murder, Judgement in Stone, The Case of the Frightened Lady and The Lady Vanishes), returns with their latest chilling whodunit, the creepy comedy thriller The Cat and the Canary.

Carl Grose’s new adaptation of the murder mystery by John Willard, which inspired three classic movies starring the likes of Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Edward Fox, Honor Blackman and Olivia Hussey, will embark on a nationwide tour from January 2020, visiting Richmond Theatre from March 2 to March 7.

Twenty years after the death of Mr. West, his descendants gather at a remote mansion to learn who will inherit his vast wealth and the hidden family jewels.

When the heir is revealed, the heritage hunters turn into prey and a chain of macabre events is set in motion; walls crack open, shadows loom and dark secrets are revealed. Will the heirs dare to face the haunting presence toying with them?

When the cat prowls, the flock takes fright…

Heading the cast of The Cat and the Canary is silver screen and Bond-girl legend Britt Ekland (pictured below), whose numerous films include The Man with The Golden Gun with Roger Moore, The Wicker Man with Christopher Lee, and Get Carter with Michael Caine.

Britt Ekland

She is joined by Mark Jordon, who played the much-loved PC Phil Bellamy in Heartbeat for over 16 years and more recently Daz Spencer in Emmerdale, and Tracy Shaw, best known for her long-running role as Maxine Peake in Coronation Street.

They in turn are joined by West End leading lady Marti Webb, whose credits include Evita and Tell Me On A Sunday; Gary Webster, who played Gary Costello in Family Affairs and Ray Daley opposite George Cole in ITV’s Minder; Classic Thriller Theatre Company veteran Ben Nealon, who played Lt. Forsythe in the drama series Soldier Soldier; Nikki Patel, known as Amber Kalirai in Coronation Street; and Eric Carte, who played Geoff Roberts in two series of Bouquet of Barbed Wire.

The cast is completed by Joe Reisig, Jack Taylor and Briony Rawle.

The Cat and The Canary is director Roy Marsden’s fifth Classic Thriller Theatre Company production. Other credits include the West End premieres of Agatha Christie’s A Daughter’s a Daughter at the Trafalgar Studios and Noël Coward’s Volcano at the Vaudeville Theatre. As an actor, Marsden is well-known to television audiences as Inspector Dalgliesh in the long-running P.D. James series.

Produced by Bill Kenwright, The Cat and The Canary is designed by takis, with lighting design by Chris Davey and sound design by Dan Samson.

The tour opens at the Theatre Royal Windsor (January 15 – 25) before continuing to Torquay, Barnstable, Malvern, Bath, Richmond, Lichfield, Darlington, Wakefield and Cambridge, with further dates and venues to be announced.