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Poirot ditches moustache to become a woman - in new play

David Suchet as Lady Bracknell in The Importance Of Being Earnest. Photo: PA

Hercule Poirot's famous waxed moustache is long gone as David Suchet shows off his latest role - as a woman.

The actor, who portrayed Agatha Christie's fictional Belgian detective for a quarter of a century, has been pictured for the first time as Lady Bracknell for his forthcoming production of The Importance Of Being Earnest.

He is appearing in the Oscar Wilde play at London's Vaudeville Theatre, opening on July 1 with a cast which also includes Michele Dotrice, most famous for her role as Betty in BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.

Suchet said last year on the casting:

After playing an extraordinary character like Hercule Poirot in wonderful stories for so long, I always knew it would be a challenge to find another character as extraordinary to play. I also wanted comedy. Lady Bracknell is both.

– David Suchet

The Importance Of Being Earnest, which is widely regarded as Wilde's masterpiece, was first performed in the West End in 1895.