Mystery By Torchlight

I am very pleased to welcome to the blog today, Lewis Bailey, of Torchlight Mysteries, a theatre company dedicated to performing mysteries in heritage sites around the UK. From murder mystery evenings to performances of plays, Torchlight Mysteries are the guys to baffle and entertain.Torchlight’s latest venture is Agatha Christie’s, ‘Spider’s Web’.

Hot on the heels of Christie’s success with ‘The Hollow’ and ‘The Mousetrap’, ‘Spider’s Web’ was written at the request of 1930s film star Margaret Lockwood, so that she may perform as the leading lady in a West End production; something Lockwood had not done before. Over to Lewis to tell us more …

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Sitting, watching one of the final rehearsals of Spider’s Web, I am struck by two things. Firstly, how privileged we are to be rehearsing and performing in this historic house and secondly, I am reminded of how very funny this play is!

When we first staged the play eight years ago, so many of the audience members commented on how unexpectedly funny they found it as they had not previously thought of Christie as a writer of comedy. Well, if an example was needed of Christie’s comedic skill, then Spider’s Web is it. A stylish comedy thriller with sparkling wit, terrific characters and a gripping plot – it really is a very good play!

After the great success of our stage production in 2008, we are giving Spider’s Web a second outing. This time, in an old house and not just any old house; the oldest house in Portsmouth!

A string of 8 performances to raise funds for the preservation of Wymering Manor.


Wymering Manor, Portsmouth

Mentioned in the Doomsday Book, the house is one of the oldest in the region and has been standing as a three-story building at the heart of the community since the Tudor period. There is visible evidence of every period between then and now. The backstage area is Tudor, the dressing room is Victorian, and our performance area, the Great Hall, is Georgian.

Torchlight Mysteries is teaming up with the Wymering Manor Trust to ensure that the planned programme of theatre events is not only successful in raising funds but is also respectful of the Manor’s rich heritage, unique style and mysterious story. And what a story it is! I sometimes wonder at how it is not more widely known.

And so I feel, as I watch the tremendously strong cast rattling through a very slick run-through of Spider’s Web, Dame Agatha has given us a truly cracking good play; and I want everyone to know about it!

Torchlight Actors. L-R: Geoffrey Pye, Peter Colley, Clarice Wale, Peter McCrohon.

Torchlight Actors. L-R: Geoffrey Pye, Peter Colley, Clarice Wale, Peter McCrohon.

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A big thanks to Lewis for stopping by to tell us about this wonderful project. I’m off to see a performance next week and I can’t wait. To find out more about Torchlight Mysteries and bag yourself a ticket to see their performance, use the links below.

> Twitter @torchlitmystery

> Book at Enquiries line: 01962435020.

> Tickets £15 with a proportion of profits going to support the preservation of the Manor.

> An intimate audience of just 30 each night means you should book quickly to avoid disappointment.

Have you read or seen Agatha Christie’s Spider’s Web? What were your thoughts? Are you off to see this production? Don’t forget to let us know in the comments below.

5 thoughts on “Mystery By Torchlight

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    This is really, really interesting! Thanks, both, very much. One of the things that strikes me is the individual character that a place can have – including this one. Add to that the dedication to those historical stories, and it must be wonderful to see. Wishing the troupe much success, and thanks to you both for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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