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Towards Zero

Summer is the time when the inimitable Brian Blessed visits The Mill to direct one of Agatha Christie's classic thrillers. The combination of Christie & Blessed has proved a winning formula for our theatre, helped by the special relationship that Brian had with the queen of the thriller genre. He met and worked with her when he was a young actor at Nottingham Repetory Theatre. Their conversations informed Brian about how she would have liked to see her plays directed. She told Brian that TOWARDS ZERO was acclaimed by the novelist Rupert Graves as by far her best and most dramatic novel. And in 1956, Gerald Verner adapted it into a play.

Christie explains in her own words the meaning of the intriguing title:

"When you read the account of a murder, real or imagined, you usually begin with the murder itself," said the big Inspector Battle. "That's all wrong. The murder belongs a long time beforehand. A murder is the culmination of a lot of different circumstances all converging at a given time at a given point. It's Zero Hour."

Five puzzled faces turned to him. There has been a murder - a brutal murder of an invalid matriarch as she lay in bed. There had apparently been no premeditation on the part of her family and friends who had gathered at her home for their yearly visit. No one seemed to have had any reason for killing her, not did anyone gain by her death.

Inspector Battle paused. "It's Zero Hour now," he snapped.

What then happens brings about the conclusion of the most amazing detective story of Agatha Christie's many mysteries. Full of suspense, brooding atmosphere and outrageous twists and turns.

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