Christie world first for Bay

Agatha Christie in Syria

Agatha Christie Mallowan in the 1930’s in Syria - Credit: The Christie Archive Trust

The world premiere of a new Agatha Christie exhibition is to be held in Torquay. 

The brand new Destination Unknown exhibition is taking place at historic Torre Abbey as part of the International Agatha Christie Festival. 

After her mother’s death, an unexpected divorce and her own disappearance, Agatha, already a world-famous author, made a pivotal decision. She needed to escape England and booked a last-minute, solo ticket, on the Simplon-Orient-Express. And with it she changed everything. 

 She discovered a passion for archaeology and Iraq and found love in the most unlikely of places. The exhibition uses her own words, photographs, letters and poetry to tell the story of her second marriage to archaeologist Max Mallowan.  

The result is an ‘intimate glimpse into her extraordinary adventures to the Middle East’. 

 Mathew Prichard, Agatha’s grandson said: " What better place to launch a new Agatha Christie exhibition than at Torquay during the Agatha Christie festival? This new exhibition covers the years after 1930 and my grandmother’s second marriage to archaeologist Max Mallowan. It is a unique bird’s eye view of one of the most affectionate and productive relationships of the 20th century." 

John Curran, author and Agatha Christie expert said: "This is a not-to-be-missed exhibition of an Agatha Christie her fans rarely see - Agatha the Traveller, the Photographer, the Archaeologist."  

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Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture said: “Torre Abbey is the first place in the world to host this brand-new exhibition, which is a real coup for Agatha Christie’s hometown. 

“I want to thank Mathew Prichard for working with us over lockdown to create something so enthralling and timely. At a time when many of us have been unable to travel, due to the restraints of the last 18 months, it is going to be really special to learn about Agatha Christie’s inspirational travels 90 years ago.” 

The exhibition is included with museum entry, with advanced booking highly recommended, especially during the International Agatha Christie Festival which runs from September 11 to 18. 

The exhibition is one of a number of events taking place at Torre Abbey over the festival, both in the main house and the Spanish Barn. Highlights include talks by the likes of Anthony Horowitz and Kate Mosse, the premiere of a new short film shot in Devon called Agatha Swims and a family-friendly tea dance hosted by Dance in Devon. 

For more information about these and all of the other events taking place across the Bay as part of the festival, visit: www.iacf-uk.org