The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Adaptations

Alibi (Play)

The book formed the basis of the earliest adaptation of any work of Christie's when the play, Alibi, adapted by Michael Morton, opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London on 15 May 1928. It ran for 250 performances with Charles Laughton in the role of Poirot. Laughton also starred in the Broadway run of the play which was retitled The Fatal Alibi and opened at the Booth Theatre on 8 February 1932. The American production was not as successful as the British had been and closed after just 24 performances.

Alibi is especially notable as it inspired Christie to write her first stage play, Black Coffee. Christie, along with her dog Peter, attended the rehearsals of Alibi and found its "novelty" enjoyable.[14] However, "she was sufficiently irritated by the changes to the original to want to write a play of her own."[14]

Alibi (1931 film)

The play was turned into the first sound film to be based on a Christie work. Running 75 minutes, it was released on 28 April 1931, by Twickenham Film Studios and produced by Julius S. Hagan. Austin Trevor played Poirot, a role he reprised later that year in the film adaptation of Christie's 1930 play, Black Coffee.

Adapter: H. Fowler Mear Director: Leslie Hiscott

Austin Trevor as Hercule Poirot Franklin Dyall as Sir Roger Ackroyd Elizabeth Allan as Ursula Browne J. H. Roberts as Dr. Sheppard John Deverell as Lord Halliford Ronald Ward as Ralph Ackroyd Mary Jerrold as Mrs. Ackroyd Mercia Swinburne as Caryll Sheppard Harvey Braban as Inspector Davis With Clare Greet, Diana Beaumont, and Earl Grey

The Campbell Playhouse radio adaptation

Orson Welles adapted the novel as a one-hour radio play for the 12 November 1939 episode of The Campbell Playhouse. Welles himself played both Dr. Sheppard and Hercule Poirot.

Adapter: Herman J. Mankiewicz[15]:355 Producer: John Houseman, Orson Welles Director: Orson Welles

Cast: Orson Welles as Hercule Poirot and Dr. Sheppard Edna May Oliver as Caroline Sheppard Alan Napier as Roger Ackroyd Brenda Forbes as Mrs. Ackroyd Mary Taylor as Flora George Coulouris as Inspector Hamstead Ray Collins as Mr. Raymond Everett Sloane as Parker

BBC Radio 4 adaptation

The novel was adapted as a 1½-hour radio play for BBC Radio 4 first broadcast on 24 December 1987. John Moffatt made the first of his many performances as Poirot. The adaptation was broadcast at 7.45pm and was recorded on 2 November of the same year.

Adaptor: Michael Bakewell Producer: Enyd Williams

Cast: John Moffatt as Hercule Poirot John Woodvine as Doctor Sheppard Laurence Payne as Roger Ackroyd Diana Olsson as Caroline Sheppard Eva Stuart as Miss Russell Peter Gilmore as Raymond Zelah Clarke as Flora Simon Cuff as Inspector Davis Deryck Guyler as Parker With Richard Tate, Alan Dudley, Joan Matheson, David Goodland, Peter Craze, Karen Archer and Paul Sirr

Agatha Christie's Poirot

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was adapted as a 103-minute drama transmitted in the UK on ITV Sunday 2 January 2000, as a special episode in their series, Agatha Christie's Poirot. In this adaptation Japp – not Sheppard – is Poirot's assistant, leaving Sheppard as just another suspect. However, the device of Dr Sheppard's journal is retained as the supposed source of Poirot's voice-over narration and forms an integral part of the dénouement. The plot strays considerably from the book, including having Sheppard run over Parker numerous times with his car and commit suicide with his gun after a chase through a factory. Ackroyd was changed to a more elderly, stingy man, disliked by many, who owns a chemical factory. Mrs Ackroyd is also not as zany as in the book version.

Adaptor: Clive Exton Director: Andrew Grieve

Cast: David Suchet as Hercule Poirot Philip Jackson as Chief Inspector Japp Oliver Ford Davies as Dr. Sheppard Selina Cadell as Caroline Sheppard Roger Frost as Parker Malcolm Terris as Roger Ackroyd Nigel Cooke as Geoffrey Raymond Daisy Beaumont as Ursula Bourne Flora Montgomery as Flora Ackroyd Vivien Heilbron as Mrs. Ackroyd Gregor Truter as Inspector Davis Jamie Bamber as Ralph Paton Charles Early as Constable Jones Rosalind Bailey as Mrs. Ferrars Charles Simon as Hammond Graham Chinn as Landlord Clive Brunt as Naval petty officer Alice Hart as Mary Philip Wrigley as Postman Phil Atkinson as Ted Elizabeth Kettle as Mrs. Folliott

Russian adaptation

In 2002, the story was made into a Russian film titled Неудача Пуаро ("Neudacha Puaro" = "Poirot's Failure"). This film version was overall quite faithful to the original story.

Cast: Konstantin Rajkin as Hercule Poirot Sergei Makovetsky as Dr. Sheppard Lika Nifontova as Caroline Sheppard Olga Krasko as Flora

Graphic novel adaptation

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was released by HarperCollins as a graphic novel adaptation on 20 August 2007, adapted and illustrated by Bruno Lachard (ISBN 0-00-725061-4). This was translated from the edition first published in France by Emmanuel Proust éditions in 2004 under the title, Le Meurtre de Roger Ackroyd.


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