Spider's Web

A comedy thriller in three acts

Running time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Cast size: 12


Spider's Web
Clarissa, wife of a diplomat, is adept at spinning tales of adventure but when a murder takes place in her drawing room she finds live drama much harder to cope with. Desperate to dispose of the body before her husband arrives with an important politician, she enlists the help of her guests. Hilarity ensues when they are interrupted by the arrival of wry detective, Inspector Lord. A conscious parody of the detective thriller, Christie delivers a unique blend of suspense and humour. There is tension and laughter in equal parts in an intricate plot of murder, police, drug addicts, invisible ink, hidden doorways and secret drawers.

Play information

The action of the play passes in the drawing-room of Copplestone Court, the Hailsham-Browns’ home in Kent.
Running time
2 hours 45 minutes

Character list

  • Number of male characters: 9
  • Number of female characters: 3
  • Sir Rowland Delahaye
  • Hugo Birch
  • Jeremy Warrender
  • Clarissa Hailsham-Brown
  • Pippa Hailsham-Brown
  • Mildred Peake
  • Elgin
  • Oliver Costello
  • Henry Hailsham-Brown
  • Inspector Lord
  • Constable Jones
  • Doctor (Off-stage voice)

Performing this play

More about this play

Originally written at the request of its star Margaret Lockwood and one of only a few stories to start life as a play, Agatha Christie wrote the play during rehearsals for Witness for the Prosecution, which was then running in London’s West End. The play made its way to the Savoy Theatre in London and ran for 774 performances; joining The Mousetrap and Witness for the Prosecution, making it Christie’s third play to be performed simultaneously in the West End.
Suspense, anyone? The old fashioned kind? Who's for good, clean fun? One is Agatha Christie's 1954 puzzler, The Spider's Web.
Howard Thompson, New York Times