A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Simon Brett's entertaining crime novel, starring Bill Nighy.
Charles Paris has been 'resting' for quite a while, so he's relieved when he is cast as the Ghost of Hamlet's Father and First Gravedigger in a touring production of Hamlet. But rehearsals are a little tense - the lead roles of Hamlet and Ophelia are played by a reality TV contestant and TV talent show winner respectively, and their opinions on celebrity and the theatre differ somewhat from those of the more experienced members of the cast.
The show is barely on the road before tragedy strikes - just before opening night, part of the set collapses, seriously injuring one of the actors. Then anothermember of the cast is found dead. It's up to Charles Paris to turn detective and investigate the mystery: but with almost everyone having a motive for murder, will he ever track down the real killer?
Bill Nighy stars as Charles Paris, with Suzanne Burden as Frances, in this dramatisation by Jeremy Front.
Written by Jeremy Front, based on the novel by Simon Brett.
Duration: 2 hours approx.
Simon Brett was born in Worcester Park, Surrey, on 28 October 1945. He was educated at Dulwich College and Wadham College, Oxford, where he read English and was president of the Oxford University Dramatic Society. After graduating in 1967 he worked as Father Christmas in a department store before landinga job at the BBC as a radio producer. During his ten years there, he worked on such programmes as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Week Ending, The Burkiss Way, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue and Just a Minute. He moved to London Weekend Television in 1977, where he produced Maggie and Her, End of Part One and The Glums (a popular spin-off from radio's Take It From Here). Brett's first Charles Paris novel, Cast In Order of Disappearance, was published in 1975, and by 1979 he was able to leave LWT and become a full-time writer. He has written over eighty books, including nineteen Charles Paris books, fifteen Fethering Mysteries and six Mrs Pargeter novels, as well as several non-series titles such as A Shock to the System (1984), which was adapted as a film starring Michael Caine. He has also contributed to several anthologies and scripted many sitcoms for radio including No Commitments, Smelling of Roses and After Henry. Other radio work includes several one-off plays for Radio 4, and a number of episodes of the detective series Baldi. A former Chair of both the Crime Writers' Association and The Society of Authors, he is currently President of the Detection Club, as well as being involved with various writers' organisations. He is married with three children, and lives in West Sussex.