“Birdman” and “Bloodline” actress Andrea Riseborough, Kim Cattrall, formerly of “Sex and the City,” and Toby Jones, who was Emmy and BAFTA nominated for playing Alfred Hitchcock in “The Girl,” have joined the cast of Agatha Christie adaptation “The Witness for the Prosecution.”
The two-part drama, adapted by Sarah Phelps, reunites many of the team behind another Christie tale reworked by Phelps, “And Then There Were None,” which was a critical and ratings hit for the BBC last December, with an audience of more than 8 million.
“The Witness for the Prosecution,” adapted from Christie’s 23-page short story of the same title, will be directed by Julian Jarrold (“Kinky Boots,” “The Girl”) and produced by Colin Wratten (“The Musketeers,” “One of Us”).
A+E Networks holds international distribution rights, outside the U.K. and the U.S., and will launch the show at TV market Mipcom in October.
“The Witness for the Prosecution” is a Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Productions’ drama for BBC One, in association with A+E Networks and RLJ Entertainment’s development arm, Acorn Media Enterprises. RLJE’s streaming service, Acorn TV, is also the U.S, co-production partner and will premiere the new adaptation in the U.S.
Other actors in the cast include David Haig (“The Thick of It,” “Mo”), Billy Howle (“Cider with Rosie”), and Monica Dolan (“Eye in the Sky,” “The Casual Vacancy”).
The story is set in 1920s London, and centers on a murder, “brutal and bloodthirsty,” which has “stained the plush carpets of a handsome London townhouse.” The victim is the glamorous and rich Emily French (Cattrall). All the evidence points to Leonard Vole (Howle), a young chancer to whom the heiress left her vast fortune and who ruthlessly took her life. At least, this is the story that Emily’s dedicated housekeeper Janet McIntyre (Dolan) stands by in court. Leonard, however, is adamant that his partner, the enigmatic chorus girl Romaine (Riseborough), can prove his innocence. Tasked with representing Leonard is his solicitor John Mayhew (Jones) and King’s Counsel, Sir Charles Carter (Haig).
The executive producers are James Prichard and Hilary Strong for Agatha Christie Productions, Karen Thrussell and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen, Matthew Read for the BBC and Phelps.