The BBC has assembled a stellar line up of suspects for its new Agatha Christie drama The Witness for the Prosecution, with Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall playing the part of the murder victim.
Cattrall plays glamorous and rich Emily French in the 1920s-set drama, which is expected to be one of the centrepieces of the BBC’s 2016 Christmas schedule.
In the drama, which is mainly set in the courtroom but is expected to include multiple flashbacks, the part of the main suspect Leonard Vole – a chancer who has inherited the victim’s fortune – will be performed by Billy Howle (Glue, Cider with Rosie).
His partner, the enigmatic chorus girl Romaine, will be played by Andrea Riseborough, the British star of dramas such as the Oscar-winning film Birdman and Netflix drama Bloodline. Tasked with representing Leonard is his solicitor John Mayhew (Toby Jones) and King’s Counsel, Sir Charles Carter KC (David Haig).
The drama is being adapted by Sarah Phelps – who scripted the successful Agatha Christie adaptation And Then There Were None last Christmas starring Poldark’s Aidan Turner. The new two-part drama is being made by the same production company Mammoth Screen.
The original text is a Christie short story written in 1925 which runs to just 23 pages. It has already been turned into a successful stage play and a much-loved film directed by Billy Wilder.
“With the long terrible shadow of the Great War falling across the rackety, feral 1920s, The Witness For The Prosecution is a compelling story of deceit, desire, murder, money and morality, innocence and guilt, heartbreak and – most painful and dangerous of all – love,” said Phelps. “At the centre of this dark and tangled net is the astonishing character of Romaine, a noir heroine for all our times”.