All aboard the Orient Express with Hercule Poirot

Murder on the Orient Express: your carriage awaits!

Commencing on Sunday, July 8th, 2018 for a six-week run, is a presentation of Agatha Christie’s famed Murder on the Orient Express, brought to us every weekend through until the 12th of August, 2018 by the members and friends of  Seanchai Library in Second Life.

The series will take place as a part of Senchai Library’s Tea-Time sessions, which known for presenting the adventures with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, together with tales of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe, selections from JRR Tolkien and Rudyard Kipling, specials such as a trip on the African Queen, and more. Hosted from 13:30 SLT on Sundays, the Time-Time series is one of the most popular of Seanchai library’s weekly series of events.

Murder on the Orient Express: recapture a golden age of travel and enjoy a great mystery!

For Murder on the Orient Express Seanchai move away from the usual fireside setting that has been home to many of the Tea-Time sessions, and instead present the story in a  purpose-built setting featuring a model representative of the Orient Express, a service initiated by Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits in the closing years of the 19th century, and which by the 1930s – the period  in which the novel is set – operated two services between Paris and Istanbul – the Orient Express and the Simplon Orient Express. It is the latter that is actually featured in the novel, which took the more southerly route between Paris and Istanbul, passing through the Simplon tunnel connecting Switzerland with Italy.

The novel is the 10th book published by Christie to feature the Belgian émigré turned detective, Hercule Poirot. It sees him board the Orient Express at Istanbul in great hurry so he might attend to unexpected business in London as soon as humanly possible. Prior to boarding the express he has occasion to witness several of those who will become his fellow passengers on the journey to Paris, including the elderly and unpleasant American, Samuel Ratchett.

Once aboard the train, the latter approaches Poirot, attempting to hire the detective to look into threats against his life. Poirot refuses, having already confided he finds Ratchett to be a most disagreeable fellow. But, after a strange night of events – including the train being stranded in snow as a result of an avalanche -, Poirot finds he is to be plunged into an investigation after all, because Ratchett has indeed been murdered…

Murder on the Orient Express: discover this history of this most famous railway journey

The first reading of the story will, as noted commence on Sunday, July 8th, 2018, with listeners invited to board the luxurious train at the Wagon-Lits Istanbul station – a setting that will remain in place through most of the week following the first session, before being replaced by the snow-bound setting in the mountains of Yugoslavia, where the balance of the story takes place, the train stuck in a snow bank.

The full schedule for the series, at the time of writing, is as follows (all times SLT):

Part One: The Facts Part Two: The Evidence Part Three: Poirot Thinks
Sunday, July 8th: 13:30-14:30:
Part 1, Chapters 1-5
Sunday, July 22nd: Noon – 13:30:
Part 2, Chapters 1-6
Sunday, August 5th: 13:30-14:45:
Pat 2, Chapters 13 – Part 3, Chapter 2
Sunday, July 15th: 13:30-14:30:
Sunday, July 29th: 13:30-14:30:
Part 2, Chapters 7-12
Sunday, August 12th: 13:30-15:00:
Part 3, Chapters 3-9

The series will feature a cast of notable SL voices, including Avajean Westland and David Abbot, along with Seanchai regulars Corwyn Allen (as Poirot), Kayden Oconnell, and Aoife Lorefield. Seanchai friends Boudicca Amat and Bryn Taleweaver will also be joining the cast.  Audience and voice talent will be mixed together aboard the train, adding to the experience.

Murder on the Orient Express: start your journey at the Wagon-Lits Istanbul station

Visits to the settings for Murder on the Orient Express before and after the sessions is highly recommended: as well as the train, visitors can avail themselves of the history of the of the Paris-Istanbul journey, including a video presentation, and enjoy the settings themselves.

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