Black Coffee

A Poirot thriller in three acts

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Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Cast size: 13


Black Coffee
Accomplished physicist Sir Claud Amory has constructed a workable formula for one of the most deadly weapons known to man – the atom bomb. Hercule Poirot, with the help of Captain Hastings and Inspector Japp, is called in after the formula is mysteriously stolen and Sir Claud is callously murdered. A superbly crafted whodunit with endless red herrings, subplots of infamous spies and an astonishingly prophetic storyline about weapons created through ‘bombarding the atom’. One of Christie’s most gripping country house murder mysteries.

Play information

The action of the play takes place in the library of Sir Claud Amory’s house at Abbot’s Cleve, about twenty-five miles from London.
Running time
2 hours 15 minutes

Character list

  • Number of male characters: 10
  • Number of female characters: 3
  • Hercule Poirot
  • Tredwell
  • Lucia Amory
  • Miss Caroline Amory
  • Richard Amory
  • Barbara Amory
  • Edward Raynor
  • Dr. Carelli
  • Sir Claud Amory
  • Captain Arthur Hastings, O.B.E.
  • Dr. Graham
  • Inspector Japp
  • Johnson

Performing this play

More about this play

Hercule Poirot has been played on stage and screen by some of the greatest acting stars in the world including Albert Finney, Peter Ustinov, Alfred Molina and David Suchet but the first star to play him on stage was Charles Laughton in the first play by Agatha Christie to open in the West End, Black Coffee.
It's exactly as Agatha Christie – and Poirot – should be. I'm totally in the dark, in every way, but having fun.
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian