RogerBW's Blog

Hallowe'en Party 16 November 2021

1993 adaptation by Michael Bakewell of Christie's 1969 mystery, in one 90-minute episode. At a Hallowe'en party, a girl says that she once saw a murder, but didn't realise it until later. By the end of the evening she's been drowned in the apple-bobbing tub.

This is early in the BBC's series of radio adaptations of Christie, but it's a late and relatively disorganised story from Christie; one wonders why they picked it to adapt. Still, with some judicious axe-work the relevant parts are retained and some of the flapping loose ends can be pruned without disturbing anything important, even if two killings are still left unresolved. (The daring-for-1969 use of the term "Lesbian" is elided; indeed, there's not much to signify the period here except for the idea of English people having a Hallowe'en party at all, and a passing mention of the abolition of capital punishment.)

There are several children in this story, and I found a distinct division between the ones who just sound like adults and the ones who sound like unconvincing children. (Is there a way to sound like a convincing child? Presumably so.) The adults do rather better, particularly June Barry in the rather demanding role of Rowena Drake.

Overall it's a decent production, but it can't rise much above the unpromising original.

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