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Producer Michael Linnit has moved all the pieces into place so the show, inspired by the Boris Spassky vs Bobby Fischer matches in Iceland in the Seventies, can begin performances — backed by a 48-piece orchestra — at the London Coliseum (home of the English National Opera) on April 26, running until June 2.
Chess originated in the Eighties in concert form, followed by an album.
The Grinning Man is based on Victor Hugo’s The Man Who Laughs.
Rating: David Suchet played Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s much-loved Belgian detective, for an extraordinary 24 years, delivering a performance that eventually felt so definitive – albeit on the small screen – it was difficult to imagine any other actor even daring to have a tilt at the role.
So, as a new version of And now the baton – not to mention the moustache and cane – pass to Sir Kenneth Branagh, who has already had a go at one overseas detective – the gloomy Swede Kurt Wallander – and clearly likes the challenge of another.
Hayley Atwell let out a sigh of relief that she hadn’t been turned into a caricature of a Clever Woman. It’s the story of the idealistic Schlegel sisters — Margaret (known as Meg) and Helen — and how they connect with society above and beneath them. The novel is a classic because we are still stuck in our class system, no matter what we’re told to the contrary.
The actress is starring as Margaret Schlegel in producer Colin Callender and the BBC’s adaptation of E. Meg, the elder sister, has an emotional intelligence and a desire to interact with, and learn from, people in all walks of life. The working poor are represented by Leonard Bast (Joseph Quinn), a clerk who yearns for culture to give him a leg up, but who may have to leave his wife Jacky (Rosalind Eleazar) to achieve his aim.