Written and performed by Prudence Wright Holmes, ‘Agatha is Missing’ is a single-handed performance about super sleuth ‘Miss Clarissa Marbles’ and her quest to find out about the real-life disappearance of Agatha Christie in 1926. This year the show is an online performance and opens to Miss Marbles setting the scene regarding the disappearance of Christie having left her home ‘one dark stormy night…’
With previous sold out shows at Edinburgh Fringe, Holmes is undoubtedly one confident performer. A US based performer and playwright she has had a varied career. From performances in the original cast of the 60s production of ‘Godspell’ to acting alongside Meryl Streep in ‘Happy End’ on Broadway and Whoopi Goldberg in ‘Sister Act’ and ‘Sister Act 2’, Holmes knows her craft well.
Holmes demonstrates a powerful stage presence in her performance, despite playing the party of an elderly amateur super sleuth. With a fluidity to her performance, she interacts with the audience throughout and encourages them to be part of the entire performance by giving them characters and questioning them about their whereabouts and involvement in the disappearance of Agatha Christie. The comedy names she provides to audience members as they come up on stage and the props (a bloodied golf club and a dead hedgehog to name two) add to the humour of the performance.
The audience are ushered on to the stage at various points in the story and in many ways it could be argued that the story is only as good as the audience members. However, it is equally amusing to watch when someone ‘stumbles’ over being questioned by Miss Marbles as it is when someone else may ‘over egg’ their part. A tall order for a single-handed performer but with ad libs, as well as sticking to the story she delivers a hilarious performance with no glitches whatsoever.
The show concludes with a prize for the person who highlights the murderer but an appearance of Agatha Christie herself, also played by Holmes, with her own version of events adds a wonderful end to this extremely eccentric show.
‘Agatha is Missing’ is a fun, family friendly, amusing performance and Prudence Wright Holmes must be applauded for ensuring nonsensical comedy is at its fore front in relaying a story that for many remains a mystery today. A must for all who love Agatha Christie and associated eccentric humour! https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/agatha-is-missing
Reviewer: Angela Kelly
Reviewed: 4th August 2023
North West End UK Rating: