The Unforeseen Guest by Agatha Christie


The Unexpected Guest explores how highly experienced professionals from different sectors describe and comprehend unforeseen events, as well as identify personal, social, and organizational competencies that enhance preparedness to deal with surprises.

On a foggy evening, an outsider enters an isolated home and discovers the dead body of a wheelchair-bound man with his wife standing over him holding a gun – she confesses murder, but police doubt her story.

Agatha Christie’s The Unexpected Guest (1958)

Agatha Christie is known as the Queen of Crime; this gripping thriller and ingenious mystery was first presented at London’s Duchess Theatre on 12 August 1958 and remains a popular theatrical classic today.

The play begins amid thick fog near Wales. A man drives his car into a ditch and seeks shelter in a house where he finds the murdered body of an incapacitated woman with a gun in her hand, who cannot explain herself and thus can only make weak attempts at explaining herself to him. With clues pointing back two years prior and uncovering family secrets and chilling motives arising, an investigation begins into this tragedy that opened Pandora’s Box.

With multiple characters having motives for Richard Warwick’s murder, this case becomes complicated for the police to unravel. Christie’s The Unexpected Guest keeps audiences guessing up until its final 15 minutes – an example of her remarkable storytelling skills and unparalleled storytelling talent.

John Simmons guides an ensemble cast that delivers top performances. Marge McGugan provides period costumes to keep the show in time and add to its aesthetic.

Even though the production of The Unexpected Guest may not be flawless, it remains essential viewing for anyone who loves a good murder mystery. Once again, Flat Rock Playhouse delivers quality entertainment with this adaptation of one of Agatha Christie’s iconic mysteries.

Flat Rock Playhouse is proud to host The Unexpected Guest, the beloved Agatha Christie thriller. This production reminds audiences what theater can be when taken seriously; Flat Rock aims to be an inclusive environment, and this performance of The Unexpected Guest lives up to that promise.

Charles Osborne’s The Unforeseen Guest (1999)

Fog-engulfed nights, dead bodies, and an abundance of possible suspects: this sounds like the formula for an exciting mystery drama production – and that is precisely what Mechanicsburg Theatre Company has planned in their production of Agatha Christie’s The Unexpected Guest, which runs April 26 – May 12!

Charles Osborne is an award-winning journalist, theatre and opera critic, poet, and novelist who has faithfully translated three of Christie’s plays (Black Coffee, Spider’s Web, and this one) into books; thus, his novelization here follows closely without adding anything that might alter what had already been presented on stage.

Michael Starkwedder drives into a ditch on a foggy night in Wales and seeks help at the nearest house. There, he discovers Laura Warwick standing over Richard in a wheelchair, holding a gun over him with the intent to murder. Laura admits killing Richard due to his abusive treatment towards her and others within their household, trying to convince Michael Starkwedder she did it because of his cruel treatment towards them all.

But is she telling the truth? Whom is she protecting, her mentally disabled half-brother perhaps, or perhaps even her lover?

Osborne’s work here, though less compelling than Black Coffee and Spider’s Web, still manages a few surprises worthy of the Christie estate. His characterizations of various characters are well-developed while providing enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing until the very last page.

Charles Thomas Osborne (born 24 November 1927 in Brisbane, Australia) is an Australian journalist, theatre and opera critic, poetry writer, novelist, and acclaimed authority on opera (he published the first comprehensive Verdi book by an Englishman as well as several subsequent volumes), poetry writer and novelist. Osborne served as assistant editor of The London Magazine from 1958-1966 before serving as literature director of the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1971 until 1986 and chief theatre critic for Daily Telegraph from 1986 until 1991. Osborne was also known as an authority on Verdi (he published his first comprehensive book ever on Verdi by an Englishman) before publishing numerous works under Agatha Christie’s estate permissions adapted creations under her name).

The Unforeseen Guest (2001)

The Unforeseen Guest is a peculiar story. Although billed as a horror film, I would be more inclined to classify it as a bizarre crime thriller. Christian Oster’s narration, as seen in Black Coffee and Spider’s Web, is that of a neurotic Parisian with uncertain employment who struggles with loneliness and poor romance; during a vacation in Wales, he encounters a woman holding her husband’s dead body with a gun while confessing their crime; she then asks him for assistance creating a cover story before she reveals her murder – something Christian Oster did brilliantly in Black Coffee and Spider’s Web as well.

The Unforeseen Guest (1998)

Under dense fog conditions, an unknown car crashes into a ditch and ends up at an isolated house. Inside is where he discovers an unusual guest: an admitted murderer standing over her dead husband with a gun in hand and offering help in creating an alibi. As police investigations lead back to two years earlier death of her deceased spouse, lies, family secrets, and chilling motives come into play that create a complex web of lies, family secrets, and chilling motives – wherein lies his true killer!

Charles Osborne, author of Black Coffee and Spider’s Web, has faithfully transformed Agatha Christie’s stage play into an engaging mystery novel. No new characters, lines, or scenes were introduced into the original text, and only minor revisions were made for chapter endings. A fast-paced plot full of unexpected twists leads Jack down a path of deceit, lies, and murder before finally arriving at its bitter truth.