Awarding the current production of And Then There Were None a glowing four stars earlier in the run, one critic declared Mark Curry had the hardest role.
He went on to praise him for his on stage abilities, as well you might if you take a ticket to see Agatha Christie’s masterclass in suspense, And The There Were None.
It’s at Milton Keynes Theatre from Monday, and Mark is bursting with passion for the piece: “It’s Agatha Christie,” he says, signaling the name is all the explanation necessary.
“Just the same as you should see a Shakespeare play, every theatre-goer should see an Agatha Christie play...and the book has sold more than 100 million copies!”
When the call was made to gauge Mark’s interest in participating in a UK tour, he jumped.
“It is very, very good quality, and when I was asked if I wanted to be involved with this, it was an easy decision.
“He’s a bit of a nervous wreck too, my character...”
The cast is a thriller – Susan Penhaligon, Frazer Hines, Ben Nealon, Colin Buchanon and Paul Nicholas are all aces in a large pack.
There is no room for bad attitudes among this touring collective.
These guys are real professionals, and there is a wonderful sense of togetherness.
“Sometimes when you are on stage, you might catch someone’s eye,” he says, speaking of his co-stars, “That can be dangerous,” he says with a laugh.
There are many facets to Mark – accomplished actor and presenter you know already.
And for three years he was the face of that small screen bastion Blue Peter, of course.
But counsellor and life coach? It’s true.
Mark has passed counselling exams and trained as a life coach.
“I’ve always been someone that people can talk to and I’ve been very discreet,” he starts.
“I really, really enjoy listening to people and I am good at it.
“I did a counselling course for Relate, but to qualify you have to train really hard for four years and I wasn’t ready to do that...”
Instead, in 2014 he passed a course in life coaching.
“Counselling takes you back to when you were seven ‘and that awful thing happened,’ whereas life coaching is about leaving the past and moving on, concentrating on the present.
“We’ve all got things in our past that we can dwell on too much,” he says.
To date, he hasn’t had too much time to put his new qualification to use – the day job gets in the way: “But within the company I’m a good life coach!” he promises.
If you see the name Agatha Christie and think you know what awaits you, think again.
This is no Poirot or Marple – And Then There Were None is a whole load darker.
Take a remote, storm-lashed island off the coast of Devon and fill it with 10 guests, invited by their host, an eccentric millionaire who has gone misisng.
A recorded message remains though, accusing each guest of having a guilty secret, and one by one the visitors begin to die.
Only the victims are believed to be innocent, and the list of suspects grows smaller with each murder...
Mark– who will be joined by his delightful Westie Charlie during the MK run – tells me that Burgh Island, the place which provided Christie with her inspiration for the play still floods, leaving dwellers stranded.
Perhaps we won’t be holidaying there, but we – and you – should still give up your leisure time this week to take in Christie’s greatest triumph, delivered with that most grand of casts.
To book your seats go online to www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes