A Daughter's A Daughter

Previewed 14 December 2009, Opened 15 December 2009, Closed 9 January 2010 at the Trafalgar Studios in London

The West End Premiere of Agatha Christie's A Daughter's A Daughter in London - written under the pen-name 'Mary Westmacott' - starring Jenny Seagrove and Honeysuckle Weeks

Brimming with Agatha Christie's brilliant wit, A Daughter's A Daughter is a gripping psychological drama that tells the tale of a mother and her daughter as they strive to find happiness in 1940s Britain. Returning home from the Second World War, Sarah convinces her mother to 'live life to the hilt', and ditch her fiance Richard. Meanwhile Sarah has become involved with cad Lawrence and feels the need to marry him in order to please her mother. Will Ann and Sarah make life decisions based on the other's wishes?

The cast features Jenny Seagrove as 'Ann Prentice' and Honeysuckle Weeks as 'Sarah Prentice' with Tracey Childs as 'Dame Laura Whitstable', Simon Dutton as 'Richard Caulfield', Ann Wenn as 'Doris Caulfield', Gay Soper as 'Edith', Peter Sandys-Clarke as 'Jerry Lloyd' and Gabrielle Lloyd. Directed by Roy Marsden with designs by Simon Scullion, lighting by Mark Howett and sound by Ian Horrocks-Taylor.

Agatha Christie's West End stage plays include the whodunit The Mousetrap and the courtroom drama Witness for the Prosecution.

Written by Agatha Christie under the pen-name 'Mary Westmacott', this is the first full-scale production in London's West End of this rare Christie masterpiece since its original stage premiere at the Theatre Royal Bath in 1954. This production is presented by the Agatha Christie Theatre Company for a strictly limited 31 performance season.

"This might be by Agatha Christie but it's a why-on-earth-did-they-do-it rather than a whodunnit. There's a reason why this would-be psychological drama, written under Christie's alter-ego pen-name Mary Westmacott, hasn't been properly revived - 'resuscitated' might be more apt - since its one week runout in Bath in 1956. That's because it's a grindingly subplot-free, sub-Rattigan, trawl through the lives and failed loves of a mother and grownup daughter. Sarah (Honeysuckle Weeks, doing her best) returns from service in the Second World War to find her longwidowed mother Ann (Jenny Seagrove, depressingly pinched) is engaged. Selfish Sarah isn't happy, Mum rethinks and we hunker down miserably for two hours of clipped tones and copious cocktails. The doorbell rings every few minutes with an unexpected guest who hasn't been seen for absolutely ages, darling, and we fervently hope that the library, tantalisingly glimpsed stage right, might turn out to have a body in it." The London Evening Standard

"This old potboiler was written by Mary Westmacott, the nom de plume that Miss Christie employed to distinguish her romantic fiction from her whodunits. Her sensitive alter ego was not, alas, a conspicuous success. A re-hash of an earlier, unperformed play that she wrote in the 1930s, this one is a case in point: it opened more than half a century ago at the Theatre Royal, Bath, where it played for all of one week, and this is its first airing since then. Still, it has some timeless things to say about the relationship between mothers and daughters and, in its rather stiff and formal way, it makes for quite compelling theatre. The cast, headed by Jenny Seagrove, give it their all. She plays a middle aged social lioness who is frustrated in her attempts to rekindle her love life with an old bore called Richard (Simon Dutton) by her wayward daughter (Honeysuckle Weeks). Tracey Childs is on hand, too, as a bitchy family friend, and Peter Sandys-Clarke plays Jerry, the daughter's on-off love interest. Dated and a bit overwrought it may all be, but gloriously so." The Sunday Telegraph

Published in 1952, the same year as Christie's thriller The Mousetrap opened in London's West End, A Daughter's A Daughter was the fifth novel that Agatha Christie wrote under the name 'Mary Westmacott', the others being Giant's Bread (published 1930); Unfinished Portrait (1934); Absent in the Spring (1944); The Rose and the Yew Tree (1948); and The Burden (1956).

A Daughter's A Daughter in London at the Trafalgar Studio 1 previewed from 14 December 2009, opened on 15 December 2009 and closed on 9 January 2010.