Review of 'David Suchet: Poirot And More'

David Suchet


I always found David Suchet's portrayal as Agatha Cristie's fictional detective “Poirot” on television fascinating and so was intrigued when I learned of this show opening in London where he talked not just about this role but other parts of his life that I was not terribly familiar with. Indeed, in this show Suchet himself recognizes that many who attend will be those who know him only for Poirot and he is grateful for that, though we learn here there is much more to the man than the role he played for 25 years in more than 70 productions.

“Poirot and More” is about 2 1/2 hours with a 14 minute interval. In the first part Suchet, interviewed on the stage by well-known journalist and author Geoffrey Wansell, talks of his upbringing and how he disliked school, drawn to the theatre from a young age. Occasionally he lapses into monologue, standing up from his chair and approaching the front of the stage to more directly interact with the audience. In the second part Suchet starts with a masterclass on what he calls the “Highway Code” for actors which looks for performance clues based on the literal wording in the script. For example, soft consonants being pleasant conversation while hard consonants lend an aggressiveness to speaking. Following his masterclass, he continues discussing his career, ending the evening with a demonstration of how he came up with Poirot's walk then finally how he was able to form of the voice of the detective who sounds French but is actually Belgium.

Wansell's presence on the stage not only facilitates the evening by asking questions but often actually actively participates in the discourse by providing points of clarification for Suchet. Most of the time Wansell is left simply sitting there for long stretches as Suchet is talking, often needing little prodding to do so. There is also the occasional “He was not supposed to ask me that” comments from Suchet which adds a bit of interaction between the two that serves to livens things up a bit and, of course, keep both on their toes. You have the sense that although much is obviously scripted what with the questions but also the pictures that are occasionally projected on the screen above the two men, there is enough material to cover that Suchet really only needs the occasional nudge and he is off…

Though quite a long show Suchet largely manages to keep the audience engaged throughout with fascinating stories and insights but, obviously, only those familiar with David Suchet would appreciate this show. I would suggest that those fans of his Poirot would find this show helps appreciate the actor for more than just this one role…and I suspect that is the point.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2022-01-04

Harold Pinter Theatre

Location: London (England)

Address: Panton Street, London SW1Y 4DN ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Piccadilly Circus TUBE Leicester Square

Telephone: +44 (0) 844 871 7622


Formerly the “Royal Comedy Theatre”, the Harold Pinter Theatre is located just to the south-east of Piccadilly Circus off of Haymarket. The foyer is small and crowded and the theatre is looking a bit tatty but it is still has a bit of the old charm. There is a side entrance for circle and balcony ticket holders.