Tag: Stage

Agatha Christie – Witness for the Prosecution | Review

Title: Witness for the Prosecution

Author: Agatha Christie

Category: Fiction

Page Count: 288

Rating: 4/5

This collection brings together a bunch of Agatha Christie’s short stories, including the title story here, which I’ve also seen performed as a stage play. It was excellent as a play, and it was equally excellent as a story, even when I was consuming it for a second time. Better yet, it’s also bundled in with a bunch of other pretty good reads, although none of them quite stand out like Witness for the Prosecution.

Some people find that Christie’s short stories aren’t quite as good as her books are, while others argue it’s the other way round. Personally, I’d say that it depends, but I do think that a few of her short stories are her best pieces, especially if you go and read Miss Marple’s Final Cases, which was a masterpiece.

Here, some stories are great and some are just good, which is pretty much what I expect from any given collection by any given author. Overall, though, it’s on the stronger side, and definitely one that’s worth picking up. In fact, if you’re new to Agatha Christie, you could do a lot worse than to go and watch Witness for the Prosecution in the theatre and then to pick up the book so you can read it.

For me, this book worked effectively as a re-read, because I’d already read all of the stories that were within it from other sources. In fact, I whizzed through it so quickly, mostly just re-reading the stories that interested me the most, that I forgot to post a review. So I had to catch back up.

Learn more about Witness for the Prosecution.

 


Alan Bennett – A Private Function | Review

Title: A Private Function

Author: Alan Bennett

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 308

Rating: 3.5/5

This book basically brings together the screenplays for five of Bennett’s different movies: The Old Crowd, A Private Function, Prick Up Your Ears, 102 Boulevard Haussmann and The Madness of King George. As is to be expected with any compilation like this, I liked some of the screenplays more than others, and by all accounts they were better as stage plays anyway.

Still, I’m glad that I picked this one up, and while I’ve changed my mind and I doubt I’ll be watching all of the movies that were made out of this, I’ll be checking out one or two of them. I think it’s also pretty cool because Bennett is at his best when he’s writing dialogue, at least in my opinion, and dialogue automatically shines in screenplays.

I also think that some of my favourite parts of this book were the introductions to the different screenplays, but then I’ve always liked getting a little extra context on what I’m reading. Strangely, though, that only really applies when I’m reading an author talking about their own work, as otherwise I like to go in pretty blind.

All in all then, I’m a fan of Alan Bennett’s work and so I was pretty happy with it, and with five screenplays in a single collection, there’s a lot here for you to enjoy. Even if you don’t like one of them, you’ll probably like the others.

And if nothing else, it’s a fascinating insight into the way that films are made and the changes that are made along the way. For example, he wrote stage directions for pigs, but obviously there’s no way of ensuring that pigs actually follow them. So yeah, a fun, recommended read. Have some fun!

Learn more about A Private Function.