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Poirot gets in touch with his feminine side

We took him to our hearts as Agatha Christie's much loved Belgian detective Poirot, but now there's a chance to see actor David Suchet as you've never seen him before

All this week he's starring in a new theatre production at Southampton's Mayflower Theatre before it transfers to the West End. And it's not quite what you might expect...as Christine Alsford found out when she went to see him.

To prepare for the part, Suchet - who played Poirot on our television screens for 25 years - practised wearing a boned corset at rehearsals.

David Suchet preparing to play Lady Bracknell Credit: Nobby Clark

Poirot's David Suchet takes on a challenging new role

David Suchet in costume for his latest role

The actor David Suchet is currently appearing on stage at the Mayflower in Southampton in one of theatres' most famous roles. The thespian who became a household name playing Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, is now performing in Oscar Wilde's play the 'Importance of Being Earnest'.

Suchet said he was rather shocked at first, when he was asked to star as Lady Bracknell - the first female starring role in his long acting career.

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Starsky & Hutch icon to perform in Fiddler on the Roof

He was a 70's icon who thrilled millions with his daredevil antics and wry humour in Starsky and Hutch. But now Paul Michael Glaser is coming to our region in a totally different role. He is to star in the stage production of Fiddler on the Roof.

But in his real life he has been touched by personal tragedy. His wife Elizabeth caught aids from a blood transfusion and passed it onto their baby daughter. Sadly, they both died.

Paul, who chaired the aids foundation for eight years, told Fred why we must not become complacent just because of new drugs to combat the disease.

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Alan Bennett's play to open at Marlowe

Playwright Alan Bennett Credit: Marlowe Theatre

The National Theatre production of Alan Bennett's latest play, People, will open at the Marlowe Theatre this Autumn.

Theatre Director Mark Everett said: “We are delighted to see the latest work by the country’s leading playwright in Canterbury and proud the National has chosen the new Marlowe as one of a small number of venues for the tour. This is a real coup for us.”

Dorothy is the impoverished aristocrat owner of a crumbling stately home faced with the choice of auctioning off her house, letting the National Trust open it to visitors. Her short-term solution is to allow the house to be used as the set for a porn film.