THE story of an unlikely friendship between famed actress Margaret Rutherford and world-renowned Queen of Crime Agatha Christie is the basis of Murder, Margaret and Me - an early October offering for theatre lovers in Worcestershire.

In the early sixties, these two national treasures were the creative force behind one of British cinema’s most successful franchises. But the Miss Marple movies were almost never made….

Both these much-loved icons were shrouded in mystery; Margaret held a dark family secret, and Agatha mysteriously went missing for 10 days, which has continued to baffled conspiracy theorists.

Through exploring their tumultuous relationship, the play seeks to pay homage to these two great women and their hidden histories and their tale is a story of the achievement of women in the long lost world of the silver screen.

Having completed extensive research writer Philip Meeks has used original letters from Agatha to Stringer Davies to authenticate his story.

He comments, “It transpires the two great women had forged a relationship beyond their awkward meeting on the set of Marple. I’ve been able to refer to an amazing archive of letters in this version of the play. It makes me feel even more that what I’ve written is as I intended it to be, a play paying homage to the two great women.”

Meeks adds, “Theatre is all about collaboration and I'm very pleased my old collaborator Damian Cruden is recreating his production of Murder Margaret and Me with such a great cast. Damian really helped to shape the play and it's always a joy to work with him.” 

Starring in the show will be Lin Blakley (Eastenders, BBC), who will be stepping into the shoes of Agatha Christie for the UK tour and she will be joined on stage by Sarah Parks (Coronation Street, ITV; Richard II, Royal Shakespeare Company) as Margaret Rutherford, and Gilly Tompkins (Gangsta Granny, Garrick Theatre and National Tour; The 3 Emos, Smashing Mirrors Theatre) as the Spinster.

Fortunately there’s a clued-up sense of respectful inquiry in Meeks’ reworked murder mystery, that began as an Edinburgh Fringe solo show and now not only brings these two successful women together to imagine how their relationship might have developed from mutual distrust to mutual respect, but also introduces a nosy Miss Marple figure who discovers enough evidence to prove that their creative impulses were informed by a shared sense of vulnerability and sadness.

The play opens at Malvern’s Festival Theatre on Tuesday, October 8 and runs through to Saturday, October 12.

Tickets are on sale at the Box Office 01684 892277 and online at