10 Lost Agatha Christie Plays Discovered

Agatha Christie Works Discovered
British writer Agatha Christie's belongings are displayed in a special exhibition in Istanbul January 27, 2006. Stringer/Reuters

10 lost works written by the English crime novelist, Agatha Christie, have been uncovered after British theatre producer and Christie expert Julius Green was given unprecedented access to her archives in both the UK and U.S.

The Daily Mail reported that five full-length plays and five one-act dramas have been discovered in several archives, including those kept by Christie's family and by her theatrical producers. The newly discovered works, which had previously been unknown or simply forgotten about, are mostly murder mysteries. They include an adaptation of her 1944 novel Towards Zero and an original 175-page play called Someone at the Window. Green, who is the founder of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company, said that the latter play is "brimming with witty banter and social commentary about inter-war Britain," the Daily Mail reported.

Further details about all the newly discovered materials, which include unpublished correspondence, will feature in Green's book, Curtain Up: Agatha Christie - A Life in Theatre, which is due to be published next month to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Christie's birth.

The adaptation of Towards Zero was found among the archives of the Shubert Organisation, the oldest theatrical production company in America. According to Green, the newly discovered adaptation is "entirely different" from the existing 1956 version, written by the thriller writer Gerald Verner.

Within the manuscript, Green also found additional materials relating to the play including a letter written in 1945 by Lee Shubert who was a theatrical producer at the organisation at the time. He wrote to Christie regarding a one-week trial run of Towards Zero he had carried out saying: "We found the climax came too suddenly and the final situation was not plausible to the audience."

Christie is one of Britain's most well-known murder mystery authors, and two of her best-loved characters, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the elderly Miss Marple, have both been portrayed multiple times on screen. Two billion copies of the author's books have been sold worldwide and Christi also created the world's longest-running play, The Mousetrap, which is now into its 63rd year and has been performed over 25,000 times.